130,000: North Korea maintains a Gulag-style network of political prisons, which currently hold as many as 130,000 inmates. Many of those incarcerated are not only people accused of political wrongdoing but their family members as well. Trump just sat down with one of the most ruthless and brutal leaders on earth.


68: Can we be friends after all? A small study commissioned by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that 68 percent of North Korean respondents within the country did not see the United States as an enemy. Striking, despite the fact that reliable and candid polling is difficult within a totalitarian system.

48: While US Republicans picked North Korea’s Kim Jong-un as the most threatening world leader, Donald Trump topped that list for Democrats, with 48 percent signaling out their own president for that unenviable title, according to a recent poll. ​

2–3–12: North Korea has the world’s second largest economy (China) on its northern border, the third largest across the sea (Japan), and the 12th largest to the south (South Korea). Should Kim pursue an economic opening as part of a deal to draw down his nuclear program, there’s no shortage of economic opportunities right on his doorstep(s.) ​

7: After US President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to China in 1972, it still took seven years for the US to normalize relations with Beijing. A reminder that even the most momentous diplomatic breakthroughs are rarely achieved in one summit (or even one administration) alone.

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