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?

Paper was originally made from rags until the introduction of cellulose in 1800. Since then, it has transformed into a "circular" industry, with 55% of paper produced in Italy recovered. It no longer just comes from trees, either. Some companies produce paper with scraps from the processing of other products like wool and walnuts.

Learn more about this rags to riches story in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

Donald Trump can still win re-election in November, but foreign governments read the same polls we do. They know that Joe Biden heads into the homestretch with a sizeable polling lead — both nationally and in the states most likely to decide the outcome. Naturally, they're thinking ahead to what a Biden foreign policy might look like.

They're probably glad that Biden gives them a half-century track record to study. (He was first elected to local office in 1970 and to the US Senate in 1972.) The six years he spent as ranking member, then chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his term as co-chairman of the Senate's NATO Observer Group, and his eight years as Barack Obama's vice president tell them that he's essentially a "liberal internationalist," a person who believes that America must lead a global advance of democracy and freedom — and that close cooperation with allies is essential for success.

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Watch the episode.


On the GZERO World Podcast, Ian Bremmer explores the escalating tension between the world's two biggest geopolitical and economic players—the US and China. With guest Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, Bremmer discusses the modern history of China after the fall of the Soviet Union and why another Cold War might be inevitable.

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