Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into all the ways in which diplomacy is a kind of performance.
Top of the World: Officials close to the negotiations between Israel and Hamas say a ceasefire could be announced in the next 24 hours as hostilities continue. And South Korean President Moon Jae-in is on a four-day visit to Washington, hoping to revive stalled talks with North Korea. Also, Russia assumes the chairmanship of the eight-nation Arctic Council bloc, as the US tries to oppose Moscow’s plans to set maritime rules.
Poor and isolated in the best of times, North Korea is now even more cut off from the world.
Health authorities in Europe are bracing for new surges of the coronavirus, this time with concerns over “pandemic fatigue” as a growing number of regions return to lockdown restrictions. And, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un unveiled several new weapons including a large intercontinental ballistic missile carried on an 11-axle vehicle; Also Armenia and Azerbaijan were again accusing each other of attacks over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region despite a ceasefire deal.
In Paris, near the former office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, at least two people were stabbed Friday, with one suffering serious injuries. And, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has apologized for the killing of a South Korean government worker who was shot and burned after crossing into the North just off the shore. Also, Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for a cyber truce between Moscow and Washington.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates look set to establish full normalization of relations. And, despite weeks of heavy rains and flooding that destroyed thousands of homes and buildings and even threatened a nuclear reactor, North Korea has rejected aid from the international community. Also, Spain has decided to shut nightclubs and ban outdoor smoking in an attempt to tamp down a resurgence of cases of the coronavirus in Western Europe.
In a withering behind-the-scenes portrayal, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton accused him of sweeping misdeeds that included explicitly seeking Chinese President Xi Jinping's help to win re-election.
North Korea blew up an office set up to foster better ties with South Korea on Tuesday in a "terrific explosion" after it threatened to take action if North Korean defectors went ahead with a campaign to send propaganda leaflets into the North.
In a dramatic escalation of tensions, North Korea blew up the liaison office used to improve relations with South Korea on Tuesday. And, in a move to stop a flare-up of new coronavirus cases, Beijing has imposed restrictions on public transport and banned high-risk people, such as those in close contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19, from leaving the city. Also, three Indian soldiers were killed today in a confrontation with Chinese troops in the disputed border region of Kashmir.
North Korean officials did not answer a routine daily call to the liaison office with South Korea or calls on military hotlines Tuesday. The move is seen as a first step toward shutting down contact with Seoul. And, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he and US President Donald Trump agreed on "some issues" on the conflict in Libya during a phone call Monday. Also, a new study of satellite images shows a surge in traffic to hospitals in Wuhan, China, in August.
Just hours after announcing it would restart nuclear talks with the US, North Korea launched at least one ballistic missile Wednesday.