Stories We’re Watching
Birthday Boy Kim Jong-un Takes Train to Beijing, Asks Uncle Xi to Ease up on the Sanctions
North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and entourage arrived in Beijing at the invitation of President Xi yesterday. Insiders expect Kim and Xi to use the four-day visit to discuss the easing of North Korean sanctions and to coordinate prior to a second summit between Kim and President Trump. Kim visited Beijing before and after last year’s summit with President Trump. Some analysts suggest that the visit underscores China’s growing influence and the US’s waning influence in regional denuclearization.
- Globe and Mail: Kim Jong-un visits China for a fourth summit VIDEO
- BBC: North Korea’s Kim Jong-un takes train to China
- Bloomberg: North Korea’s Kim Visits China in Push Against Trump Sanctions
- The Telegraph: South Koreans flock to buy Kim Jong-un moisturising face masks ICYMI
US-China Trade Talks Update: Markets Bouncing Back as Talks Extended to Third Day
World stocks rose again today as the US-China trade talks continue with an unscheduled third day. European equities and oil prices rebounded on signs that the world’s two largest economies were nearing a truce to the trade war. In a sign of easing tension, China approved five GMO crops, which industry analysts expect to boost imports of US grains. Insiders expect the talks to continue later this month in DC, where cabinet-level officials will participate.
- Fortune: US Leaders Express Optimism as China Trade Talks Conclude
- CNBC: US crude jumps 2.6%, settling at $49.78, on trade talks
- Reuters: U.S.-China trade talks to continue for third day
- Wall Street Journal: US Stocks Rise on Signs of Trade Progress
- World Grain: China approves five GM crops for import
Erdogan Channels His Inner #SaltBae: Refuses to Meet with Bolton & Insults Him on Live TV Instead
Earlier today, President Erdogan refused to meet with US National Security Advisor John Bolton and instead insulted him on live TV in a speech to parliament. Bolton was set to discuss Turkey’s planned offensives targeting US Kurdish allies in Syria. Yesterday, in a New York Times op-ed, President Erdogan praised President Trump, called US-allied Kurdish fighters terrorists, and also promised to ensure “fair political representation”. The US has faced widespread criticism from allies over President Trump’s initial Syrian withdrawal announcement. This month’s meeting between Presidents Erdogan and Putin to discuss the US withdrawal remains unchanged.
- NPR: Administration Sends Mixed Messages On When Troops Will Leave
- Reuters: Erdogan rebukes U.S. security adviser over Kurdish militia comments
- Bloomberg: Turkey’s Erdogan Refuses to Meet With Trump Adviser Bolton
- New York Times: Erdogan: Trump Is Right on Syria. Turkey Can Get the Job Done
- RFE/RL: Putin, Erdogan Plan Meeting ‘Soon’ On US Plan To Exit Syria
US Slaps New Sanctions on Venezuela, Venezuela complains to WTO
Earlier today, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against several Venezuelan individuals and dozens of their companies. Those sanctioned include Venezuela’s former Treasurer and the president of the pro-government TV station Globovision. US officials allege that the individuals used the country’s black market exchange rates to reap billions in profits. In response, Venezuela has launched a legal challenge with the WTO. The sanctions come just days before President Maduro is inaugurated for his second term.
- Bloomberg: US Sanctions Former Venezuela Treasurer, Six Others
- The Globe and Mail: US sanctions Venezuelans over currency scheme
- FRANCE 24: Venezuela launches WTO legal challenge against US sanctions
- Voice of America: Victims of Venezuela Crisis Despair at Prospect of Second Maduro Term
World Bank President Unexpectedly Resigns
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced his early resignation yesterday. First appointed by President Obama in 2012, Mr. Kim was expected to serve until 2021. He is now instead set to leave at the end of the month. Mr. Kim is best known for steering the organization to focus more on poverty alleviation. Analysts expect the selection of the next president to create a dispute between the US and other World Bank member states since the Trump administration has questioned the multilateral lender’s effectivenes.
- Financial Times: Kim’s resignation from World Bank leaves multilateralism at stake
- Council on Foreign Relations: See How Much You Know About the IMF and World Bank
- Vox: The World Bank’s controversial president just resigned
- The Independent: World Bank president Jim Yong Kim to step down
From Deep State Radio
PODCAST: 2019: THE YEAR IN REVIEW, PART I–“WAR: WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?”
As we have learned, these days years seem much longer than they used to. So, as a special service to Deep State nation, your favorite podsters are providing you with all of 2019 in two compact 45 minute episodes. The first looks at what is going to happen internationally in the year ahead. And it’ll be a full year–with everything from military confrontation between the US and China in the South China Sea to the collapse of Venezuela, the US still in Syria by year end and not a single mile of new wall built on our southern border. Join Kori Schake of IISS, Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law, David Sanger of the NY Times and Ed Luce of the Financial Times for a great new episode…and the introduction of…Deep State Dog.
PODCAST: 2019: THE YEAR IN REVIEW, PART II–“THE WORST YEAR OF DONALD TRUMP’S LIFE”
In this, our second year in review episode for the year ahead we look at US domestic developments in the next 12 months. The bad news is–they’re pretty bleak. The good news is–we tell them to you in advance so you can sleep through the whole year or just settle into a drunken stupor. Join Rosa Brooks, Kori Schake, Ed Luce, David Sanger and Deep State Dog for a great conversation about what will surely be the very worst year in Donald Trump’s life. Tune in!