Recent Events

The author and political thinker George Orwell was many things, but a soccer fan he was not.

In an essay titled “The Sporting Spirit,” written in 1945 during then-Soviet soccer club Dynamo Moscow’s Cold War British tour, Orwell called soccer “a game in which everyone gets hurt and every nation has its own style of play which seems unfair to foreigners.”

He then extrapolated that sport “is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules, and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.” Orwell recognized the political symbolism inherent in sport and resented it for being one of many drivers of the nationalism fueling international rivalry.

Today’s fans might disagree with Orwell’s joyless characterization of sport as “an unfailing cause of ill-will,” but there is no denying that this World Cup, set in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, is politically charged.
In terms of personal rapport between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Singapore summit on June 12 looks like a success, but on the substantive issues—not so much.

As the United States’ ambassador to South Korea from 2005 to 2008, I witnessed first-hand the tense military standoff at the demilitarized zone (DMZ).  So I cannot help but be hopeful that this could be the beginning of a fundamental change for the better in US relations with North Korea and the first step toward peace on the peninsula. 

But peace is not going to be possible if the main threat to peace—in the region and beyond— is not eliminated in a verifiable and irreversible way.
There were many outcomes of the historic first Trump-Kim Singapore summit on June 12; overall, it is clear that most of the hard diplomatic work remains ahead, yet the summit was helpful in establishing a top-down process that still could lead to real breakthroughs for peace on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearization.
US President Donald J. Trump made history when he met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. This was the first time that a sitting US president has met the leader of North Korea.

Atlantic Council analysts shared their thoughts on the outcome of the summit. This is what they had to say.
Even if US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un fail to achieve a breakthrough in their highly-anticipated summit in Singapore on June 12—Trump administration officials have been privately ratcheting down expectations—the summit in and of itself will be historic. It will be the first time that a sitting US president has met the leader of North Korea. The meeting provides an important opportunity to make headway on a protracted nonproliferation challenge.

Trump has held out the possibility of a White House invitation for Kim if the summit goes well.

However, given the unpredictability of both Trump and Kim, expect the unexpected.
These are the steps that should be taken to ensure denuclearization and disarmament of North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
US President Donald J. Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. Atlantic Council analysts present their views on what they believe to be an achievable, best-case outcome, one that would test North Korea’s readiness for genuine, rapid denuclearization by demanding front-loaded “down payments” during the first twelve months.  
When US President Donald J. Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 it will be due in large part to the close cooperation between the United States and China over the past year.

Sino-US cooperation is critical to resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis. Since Trump took office in 2017, the United States and China have narrowed their differences on the issue and have refined their respective approaches to reaching an end goal.
US President Donald J. Trump’s suggestion that Russia be invited back to a grouping of the world’s largest economies is likely to deepen divisions with allies already irked by the president’s policies.

Trump on June 8 called for Russia to be reinstated into the G7 from which it was expelled following its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
On Wednesday, May 30, the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security hosted Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder and a variety of other distinguished speakers to discuss the implications of an emerging multipolar-values world. Providing introductory remarks, Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson asserted the continued importance of the transatlantic relationship in protecting Western values, for “our interests advance with our values.” He then introduced Secretary Söder for the keynote speech.