THE SUMMIT: THEY GOT WHAT THEY WANTED AND IT WASN’T MUCH

In the end, the summit of the century was precisely the meeting that both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un wanted. Kim realized the dynastic dream of striding into a meeting with a US president as a nuclear power on equal diplomatic footing. Trump strode across the stage of history with a grand gesture of norm-defying personal diplomacy that he could speak about in superlatives.


But at the end of the three hours of individual and staff meetings, there wasn’t much there there. Kim and Trump signed a brief statement that commits both sides only to “work toward” several things — denuclearization, peace, repatriation of US soldiers’ remains — that earlier US-DPRK agreements had addressed with much greater specificity and, of course, zero success.

Perhaps the most substantive development was Trump’s announcement that he’d freeze the “provocative” and “expensive” military drills with South Korea — long a demand of Pyongyang, Beijing, and Moscow — without saying what, if anything, Mr Kim had offered in return.

As the two sides staffs move ahead with negotiations, the three critical issues remain: What does “denuclearization” mean specifically? How are any North Korean efforts to dismantle its nuclear capacity to be scheduled, verified, and rewarded? And what security guarantees is the US likely to give North Korea so that Kim feels safe without nuclear weapons?

For all the pageantry and hand-shakes and body language analyses, we know no more about these issues today than we did twenty-four hours ago or, for that matter, twenty-four years ago when the first efforts to stamp out the DPRK’s nuclear program began.

What we do know is that the diplomacy to sort these questions out could take years. That certainly behooves Kim, a wily young negotiator who figures he’ll outlast Trump by decades — the less he has to commit to up front the better. But does Trump need a win sooner than that?

Technology has played a big role in accelerating globalization. While it's our business to advance technology, we also believe that technology should respect and even help protect the world's timeless values. That conviction has led us to announce a new and fourth pillar to Microsoft's AI for Good portfolio – our $125 million, five-year commitment to use artificial intelligence to tackle some of society's biggest challenges. This new pillar will focus on AI for Cultural Heritage. Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

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This Saturday, July 20, will mark the 50-year anniversary of the day a human being first stepped onto another world. A moment born out of Cold War political pressures, it's easy to forget a half century later how much bitter controversy the project provoked at home and the intensity of the worldwide fanfare that followed its success.

The moon mission's primary purpose was to defeat the Soviet Union. By the time John Kennedy became president in 1961, the Soviet Union had advanced far ahead of the United States in the race for achievement in space. In October 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the world's first satellite. A month later, a dog named Laika became the first living creature to travel beyond Earth's atmosphere. In April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth, the first human to do so.

In early May, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, spurring Kennedy to announce a far more ambitious plan. On May 25, Kennedy famously pledged that by the end of the decade Americans would go to the moon and return safely to the Earth.

Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, but new President Lyndon Johnson quickly signaled his intention to see the promise kept. The Soviets held their space lead through 1965, by landing an unmanned craft on the Moon.

The moon mission stoked controversy in the United States. A review of polls reveals that only in 1969 did a majority of Americans support the project. Many people argued that the billions spent on a moonshot should go toward the war in Vietnam or to fight poverty in America's inner cities. "No hot water, no toilets, no lights. But Whitey's on the moon," sang musician and activist Gil Scott Heron. It didn't help when a fire during the Apollo 1 mission killed three astronauts and destroyed their space module.

But when Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the moon on July 20, 1969, the event took on a life of its own. It was a decade framed by two images of respected TV anchorman Walter Cronkite—shaken to the core on air by the 1963 murder of President Kennedy and then speechless with awe as Americans bounded across the surface of the moon.

A decade that included confrontation with the Soviets in Cuba, the assassinations of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, a failing war in Vietnam, race riots in American cities, and violent chaos at the 1968 Democratic Party convention ended with an accomplishment a quarter million miles away, that was watched live by 94 percent of Americans who owned a TV.

Americans weren't the only ones watching. About 650 million people around the world watched the moon landing live on TV, making the event the first truly global televised event. Nine weeks later, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins began a world tour.

Concerns that planting an American flag on the moon's surface would seem an act of obnoxious nationalism faded as the three men were greeted by overflow crowds in 27 cities in 24 countries over 39 days. An estimated one million people greeted them in Dhaka (then Pakistan) and some 1.5 million turned out in Mumbai (then Bombay).

Fifty years later, moon missions are still a mark of national prestige. Russia, China, India, the EU, Japan, and Israel have all sent probes to orbit the Moon or landed vehicles on its surface. But none of them matches that first "giant leap for mankind."

Next up: Mars? For thoughts on the next space race, click here.

Bonus fact: An iPhone has more than 100,000 times the processing power of the computer that landed Apollo 11 on the moon.