KOREA’S FUTURE: WHAT WILL IT TAKE

We close a week dominated by the Trump-Kim summit with the most basic question of all…


What will it actually take for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to bring lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula?

What if…

  • North Korea signed a commitment to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs?
  • And the US pledged in writing that it has no intention of attacking or invading North Korea with nuclear or conventional weapons?
  • And North Korea and the US promised to respect each other’s sovereignty and normalize relations?
  • And the US, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia all agreed to help boost North Korea’s economy through cooperation on energy, trade, and investment projects?

If all these countries would just commit, in writing, to this agenda, we’d have a real breakthrough, right?

That already happened… on September 19, 2005.

All these commitments and more are documented in the joint statement that followed the fourth round of Six-Party Talks in Beijing. You can read it here.

Beyond these paper promises, important as they are, real success will depend on three things:

  • Patience: Any formal agreement will take years to implement. Can Trump and Kim each resist the urge to blow a fuse when things get off track? It takes longer to build a cathedral than to blow one up.
  • Trust: It will be harder to maintain patience if the men at the top don’t trust one another. That’s why Trump may well be right to go for a top-down approach.
  • Common purpose: Will Kim completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle a nuclear weapons program his country invested so much to build? If not, will Trump lift sanctions in exchange for something less?

Without patience, trust and common purpose at the top, northeast Asia will find itself further from peace and closer to conflict.

The Business and Market Fair that recently took place in Sanzule, Ghana featured local crops, livestock and manufactured goods, thanks in part to the Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP), one of Eni's initiatives to diversify the local economy. The LRP program provided training and support to start new businesses to approximately 1,400 people from 205 households, invigorating entrepreneurship in the community.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

It's been two months since President Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, paving the way for a bloody Turkish offensive in that region. (See our earlier coverage here.) What's happened since? A guide for the puzzled:

No "end date" for US troops in Syria – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this week that the United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria. Back in October, President Trump pledged to withdraw the roughly 1,000 American troops deployed there. Since then, some American troops have left Syria altogether, while others were redeployed to defend nearby oil fields from ISIS, as well as from Syrian government troops and Russia. Now, there are roughly 600 American troops dispersed around Syria, and the remainder have been deployed in Iraq to stave off a potential ISIS resurgence. It's not clear if any troops have returned to the US. When asked about the chaotic comings and goings of US troops in Syria in recent months, the commander of US Central Command said frankly: there's no "end date" for American troops stationed there.

More Show less

Turkey's government has captured many thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its operations in northern Syria. Many of these prisoners have already been deported to some of the more than 100 countries they come from, and Ankara says it intends to send more. There are also more than 10,000 women and children – family members of ISIS fighters – still living in camps inside Syria.

These facts create a dilemma for the governments of countries where the ISIS detainees are still citizens: Should these terrorist fighters and their families be allowed to return, in many cases to face trial back home? Or should countries refuse to allow them back?

More Show less

What's the difference between Alphabet and Google?

Well, Google is the search engine, YouTube, all the stuff you probably think of as Google. Alphabet is the parent company that was created four or five years ago. And it contains a whole bunch of other entities like Jigsaw, Verily - the health care company that Google runs, Waymo - the self-driving car unit. Also, it's important to know Google makes tons of money. Alphabet, all that other stuff loses tons of money.

More Show less

The collapse of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria has given rise to a host of new challenges for governments around the world. Turkey has captured thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its offensive in northern Syria, many of whom are foreign nationals who left their home countries to fight with the Islamic State. To date, non-Middle East countries have mostly opposed ISIS fighters returning home, leaving them, and their spouses and children, in legal limbo. Here's a look at where these foreign fighters come from.