Photos: Bloomberg, Getty; photo illustration: Tom Hall/Bloomberg
Balance of Power: Why Won’t Xi Deal With North Korea?By and
Donald Trump’s plan to get China’s Xi Jinping to rein in North Korea always had a big flaw: Xi doesn’t see Kim Jong Un as his problem to fix.
So President Trump may find Xi pushing back if he tries to raise the pressure on him to do something when the two leaders meet at this week’s Group of 20 summit in Germany, Bloomberg’s Ting Shi reports. Kim’s successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday changes little for Xi, even if it’s raising alarm bells in the U.S.
True, Beijing doesn’t want a nuclear-armed North Korea. But what it’s most worried about is conflict with the U.S. And continuing to play the middle man for Kim risks dragging China into a broader confrontation with an increasingly angry America.
So as tensions rise, Xi may try put the onus back on Trump and suggest that the U.S. and North Korea hold direct negotiations. The idea isn’t that far fetched. Trump told Bloomberg earlier this year that he might just be prepared to sit down with Kim.
Trump and “the Deep State” | In a speech in Poland today, Trump will raise the twin dangers to Western civilization of terrorism and bureaucracy, also known in some conservative circles as “the Deep State.” Trump doesn’t use that term — at least in the excerpts released by the White House. But it's widely known that his top political adviser, Steve Bannon, believes entrenched governmental interests in Washington will try to thwart Trump’s more dramatic moves.
G-20 tensions | Trump isn’t the only world leader with an axe to grind. As Alan Crawford and Sam Dodge show, each of the G-20 participants has issues they’re determined to push at this week’s summit. The flashpoints are sure to be free trade, climate change, migration — and attitudes to Trump himself.
Where are the Saudis? | Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will skip this week’s G-20 and it appears the country’s new crown prince is staying away too. While that’s not unusual for the 81-year-old king, the absence of Mohammed Bin Salman, the kingdom’s rising star, will surprise some. That said, there are reasons for them to stay at home: the standoff with Qatar, a war in Yemen and rumors of palace intrigue following the ouster of the previous heir to the throne.
Merkel’s shining port | No city symbolizes Germany’s embrace of globalization more than Hamburg. A crossroads of trade since at least the 13th century, the port on the River Elbe handles more goods than Los Angeles and its business with China now dwarfs that with any other country. Trump may well push America First on this trip — but Hamburg has plenty of other places it can trade with.
Maduro mob storms congress | Opposition lawmakers in Caracas were left bloodied and bruised yesterday after government supporters stormed the National Assembly. Just as President Nicolas Maduro was ordering an investigation, there was more bad news from across town at the central bank: newly released data showed Venezuela, once the wealthiest nation in South America, now only has $10 billion left in its coffers.
Challenging Erdogan | Turkey’s 69-year-old opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on dissent is turning the country into a dictatorship. He’s leading an unprecedented march from Ankara to Istanbul to rally resistance and, as he told Bloomberg reporters at a roadside stop, he wants to forge a broad coalition to fight back.
And finally... Backpackers and brides-to-be may be unwitting supporters of North Korea. For reasons dating back to the Cold War, Kim’s regime occupies a number of spacious embassies in Eastern Europe, and diplomats often run lucrative sideline businesses out of them. There’s a hostel in Berlin, apricot-hued wedding rooms in Sofia and a sound studio in Warsaw. As David Tweed reports, cracking down on the illicit activity is easier said than done. Western officials worry that any such move would endanger their own diplomats in Pyongyang.