What we’re watching: May 21 to May 27, 2018

♦ The show at Punggye-ri this week where international journalists have been invited to witness the May 23-25 “dismantling” of the North Korean nuclear test site which collapsed after the detonation on September 3 last year of a 100-kiloton bomb, one that was ten times larger than any previous North Korean test. The Japanese reported that some 200 workers had been killed. The Chinese reported that four earthquakes had caused seismic shocks which caused the evacuation of businesses and schools in China. Chinese researchers later reported a serious risk of radiation leaks. Is there any question that Beijing concluded enough is enough and has finally told Kim Yong-un to end his nuclear program?
♦ In Washington this week: President Trump will meet again with South Korean President Moon Jae-in; Gina Haspel will be sworn in as director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver a speech at the Heritage Foundation outlining a new US strategy on Iran after the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear “deal”.
♦ In St. Petersburg this week: President Putin will be hosting the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an annual business event which has attracted over 100,000 people since 1997, mostly corporate executives but also a few government leaders. This year, Shinzo Abe and Emmanuel Macron will be there — undoubtedly having bilaterals with Putin not necessarily on business matters.

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