Updated Mar 9, 2018

Trump's North Korean tightrope

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Photo: Vincenzo Lombardo / Getty Images

President Trump has thrust himself into a precarious diplomatic situation by unexpectedly agreeing to meet in the coming weeks with Kim Jong-un.

The big questions: North Korea put a lot on the table, according to South Korean officials — denuclearization, a testing freeze and acceptance of U.S.-South Korea military drills. The U.S. hasn't even made its opening bid. So what does Trump choose to believe from Kim, and what's he willing to offer to make a deal?

Issues to navigate
  • The optics: If the U.S. does come to the negotiating table, it might show North Korea the U.S. sees it as an equal, even if that's not the intent. That's one big, tacit concession to the Kim regime — North Korea has long-wanted to be seen as a major player on the world stage.
  • The details: Virtually no trust exists between these countries, and no conversations have yet taken place about nuclear site inspection, for example. Disagreements over site inspection have doomed previous talks.
  • Diplomatic telephone: Trump got his information on Thursday night second hand, from the South Koreans. The more channels a message goes through, the more opportunities it has to stray from the truth.
  • Follow the leader: Suzanne DiMaggio, who has been leading unofficial conversation between the U.S. and North Korea, tweets, "Right now, [Kim Jong-un] is setting the agenda & the pace, & the Trump admin is reacting. The admin needs to move quickly to change this dynamic."
  • Staffing issues: The Special Representative for North Korea is leaving his post, the U.S. lacks a permanent ambassador to Seoul, the assistant secretary for East Asia hasn’t yet been confirmed and a Special Envoy role used during previous talks is vacant.

The bottom line: There is no playbook for talks like these, and anyone who says they know exactly what North Korea is up to is lying.

Go deeper

Bob Iger to step down as CEO of Disney

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Walt Disney Company said Tuesday that it had named longtime Disney executive Bob Chapek as CEO Bob Iger's successor, effectively immediately. Iger will remain executive chairman of the company through 2021.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully turned around Disney’s animation and studio businesses and with the strategic acquisition of Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. Most recently, he was the person behind Disney's successful launch of its Netflix rival Disney+.

India gives Trump warm welcome as brutal protests rip New Delhi apart

People supporting India's new citizenship law beat a Muslim man in New Delhi, India. Photo: Danish Siddiqui/TPX/Reuters

While President Trump enjoys a hero's welcome in India, that nation's capital is being torn apart by violent protests between Hindus and Muslims.

The state of play: At least 186 people — 56 police officers and 130 protesters — have been injured and 10 killed in recent clashes, a New Delhi police spokesperson told the AP.

Go deeperArrow1 hour ago - World

Wall Street sees 2nd day of brutal sell-off

Photo: Johannes Eisele/AF via Getty Images

The stock market fell another 3% on Tuesday, following Monday’s sell-off. Bond yields touched record lows.

The big picture: Stocks continued to fall as the CDC said it expects the coronavirus to spread in the U.S. The Dow and S&P are more than 7% below the record highs seen earlier this month.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business