Posts tagged with "Meeting"

America may settle for nuclear freeze with North Korea

July 2, 2019

It was a shot seen around the world: Creating just the kind of global drama that he craves, U.S. President Donald Trump took a step into the Demilitarized Zone to shake hands with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un on June 30, amid a swirl of Eastern and Western cameramen and security staff.

But for weeks before the meeting—which started as a Twitter offer by the president to Kim to drop by and “say hello”—a real idea has been taking shape inside the Trump administration that officials hope might create a foundation for a new round of negotiations, The New York Times reports.

No longer would America negotiate for North Korean denuclearization. The new “ask,” according to the Times, would be for a nuclear freeze—one that would essentially preserve the status quo; and, in doing so, recognize and accept the North as a nuclear state.

And while such an agreement would fall far short of President Trump’s original intention to disarm Korea, it might provide him with a retort to campaign-season critics—who say that Kim has been playing the American president brilliantly by giving him the visuals he craves while holding back on real concessions.

The administration still insists in public and in private that its goals remain full denuclearization; however it is willing to concede to a freeze as a limited first step.

American negotiators would seek to expand on Kim’s offer in Hanoi in February to give up the country’s main nuclear-fuel production site, at Yongbyon, in return for the most onerous sanctions against the country being lifted. Trump, under pressure from And it certainly would look like progress, after three personal meetings—in Singapore, in Hanoi, and now in the DMZ Zone—have accomplished little but smiles and handshakes.

However, according to the Times, on Sunday evening, the State Department’s envoy to North Korea, Stephen E. Biegun, said that this account of the ideas being generated in the administration was “pure speculation” and that his team was “not preparing any new proposal currently.”

“What is accurate is not new, and what is new is not accurate,” he said.

Research contact: @nytimes

Pope convenes Big Oil producers and investors to talk climate change

June 4, 2018

Pope Francis is hosting a gathering this week at the Vatican with executives of major oil producers and investment firms to discuss how their organizations can address climate change, Axios reported exclusively on June 1.

Three years ago, Pope Francis wrote his encyclical — a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church — on the importance of addressing climate change, a first in the church’s history.

Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in June 2017, the meeting convened by the Pope promises to send a significant signal that the industry still intends to work with world leaders on global warming.

Among those who already have promised to attend are the following:

  • Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager;
  • Bob Dudley, CEO of BP;
  • Multiple sources said ExxonMobil would be represented, although a company spokesman was unable to confirm that to Axios;
  • Eldar Sætre, CEO of Equinor, an oil and energy producer partially owned by the Norwegian government (formerly Statoil);
  • Ernest Moniz, former U.S. Energy Secretary under then-President Barack Obama; and
  • Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP and current executive chairman of L1 Energy, an oil and gas investment firm.

The focus of the gathering, according to Axios, will be similar to that of the encyclical (“On Care For Our Common Home”)—with an emphasis on the energy transition of a “shared home.”

The news outlet notes that, while it surely will be a momentous and symbolic meeting, “it’s still just a meeting.” To what degree the Vatican gathering will prompt change and new developments remains a big question mark.

A 2018 poll by Gallup found that, although the POTUS is “all out” on climate change, the American public is “all in.” Fully 62% of U.S. adults contacted said that the government is doing too little about the environment—representing the highest percentage since 2006. The pollsters noted that the majority of Americans have prioritized the environment, even if it limits economic growth.

Research contact: datainquiry@gallup.com