Welcome to Axios World, where two evenings a week we break down what you need to know about the big stories from around the globe.
North Korea sent a signal to the Trump administration last night in the form of a “tactical guided weapon,” according to state media. It remains unclear what exactly North Korea tested.
Why it matters: President Trump and Kim Jong-un began with distrust, lurched toward fire and fury, then shifted into a period of stop-start diplomacy. With talks at an impasse, we now seem to be entering a new phase.
The latest: Last night's test was followed by a North Korean demand that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from nuclear negotiations in favor of someone more "mature," and news that Kim would be visiting Vladimir Putin in Moscow later this month.
Before Trump and Kim's spurt of diplomacy, U.S.-North Korea talks had entered a deep freeze. It began after a key series of events from late 2011 into early 2012.
Jackson says the Obama administration maintained some engagement with North Korea through the UN and other channels but never found a "credible basis" on which to resume negotiations.
The period of heaviest diplomatic engagement, meanwhile, came under Bill Clinton. But it was a "fractious political moment" and "Republicans threw sand in the gears," he says.
What to watch: While there have historically been far fewer tests and other provocations when the U.S. and North Korea are engaged in diplomacy, North Korea's successful launch in late 2017 of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the U.S. makes the value of a testing freeze less certain.
"Are you politically active?" Zelensky undergoes a blood test in Kiev ahead of his debate with Poroshenko. Photo: AFP/Getty
Ukraine appears to be three days away from electing a man best known for playing a president on TV as its actual president.
Claire Kaiser, an expert on Eastern Europe at McLarty Associates, says that if Zelensky wins, he'll have to build a strong national security team and send an early signal he has a handle on foreign policy.
Election officials and witnesses count ballots yesterday at a polling station in Jakarta. Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images
"Quick counts" from polling stations in Indonesia show President Joko Widodo leading Prabowo Subianto by between 9 and 11 points. Prabowo nonetheless claimed victory. Official results aren't expected until next month.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
China recently declined to issue a visa to Michael Pillsbury, an informal adviser to President Trump on China policy, Axios' Jonathan Swan and I scooped this week. It's an unusual move that comes as the Trump administration steps up its scrutiny of Chinese experts attempting to travel to the U.S.
Why it matters: Trump has praised Pillsbury, a hawkish former Pentagon official and author, as "the leading authority on China." Pillsbury regularly discusses China with Trump, including during an Oval Office meeting about a month ago.
How it happened: Pillsbury was due to participate in a conference in Beijing last Sunday hosted by the Center for China and Globalization. He was also invited to an event at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing hosted by Ambassador Terry Branstad.
Between the lines: It's not entirely clear whether the Chinese move was a tit-for-tat response to the U.S. steps. The Chinese embassy did not respond to requests for comment. Pillsbury, for one, links it to ongoing trade talks. "It's part of China's apparent slowdown or refusal to make the final deal and deal with the remaining issues of importance," he said.
García in 2011. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images
Former Peruvian president Alan García died yesterday after shooting himself as he was about to be arrested on corruption charges.
Martin Aguirre, editor-in-chief of Uruguay's El Pais newspaper, interviewed García at length a few years ago. He emails that the former president was "like someone out of a Gabriel García Márquez novel."
Photo taken from an Israeli settlment shows an Israeli army watchtower and the occupied West bank city of Bethlehem. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)
Jared Kushner has signaled that the White House will "start unveiling" its Middle East peace plan in June, Axios contributor Barak Ravid reports.
Between the lines: Few believe the plan has much of a chance of success, but it still has serious implications for the region. Its contents have, somewhat remarkably, been kept secret. King Abdullah II of Jordan is among those frustrated over having been kept in the dark.
The key findings, from Raf's "Letter from Jerusalem" newsletter:
1. "Support for the Two-State Solution is shrinking. Only 48% of Palestinians support the Two-State Solution, while 50% oppose it."
2. "Around a third of Palestinians support a One-State Solution — the idea that the residents of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank would all live together as citizens of a single bi-national state."
3. "Support for violence is growing. Between 2005-2015, Shikaki’s surveys consistently found that less than a third of Palestinians supported a return to armed struggle against Israel. That figure is now at 47%."
4. "There is a generational gap. Younger Palestinians are more likely to support violence and less likely to support the Two-State Solution than their parents."
From the 2019 World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders...
The bottom line: "The number of countries regarded as safe, where journalists can work in complete security, continues to decline, while authoritarian regimes continue to tighten their grip on the media."
Collecting poppies in Turkey's in the foothills of the Nur Mountains in Hatay, Turkey. Photo: Erdal Turkoglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
"He did ask me about that, but I love the work that I'm doing."— Ivanka Trump to the AP, confirming her father asked if she was interested in becoming World Bank chief. As to whether he also asked her about becoming UN ambassador, she said: "I'll keep that between us."
Thanks for stopping by — have a wonderful weekend.