Monday Headlines

Why North Korea Released Two American Hostages
A breakdown in relations with China might be one of the reasons why North Korea has recently set off on a charm offensive with Russia and other nations, Gordon Chang says in trying to find a reason for North Korea’s recent release of two Americans.

The Daily Beast columnist also believes an explanation for the freeing of the hostages is that “North Korean policymakers may be trying to make the Chinese nervous by giving the impression that they are willing to negotiate in earnest with Washington. The last thing Beijing wants is America active in the North, just on the Chinese border.”

Finally, Pyongyang may be trying to prevent its referral to the International Criminal Court, something that nations have contemplated after the February release of the damning report of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the North, Chang posits.

Forging A New Relationship With China
Francis Fukiyama of the Hoover Institution suggests the challenges faced by Britain and France in dealing with Germany prior to WWI is an appropriate analogy to the difficulty the West experiences today in dealing with China.

“I believe that the analogies between China and pre-WWI Wilhelmine Germany, while obviously oversimplified, are correct in one essential sense. Like Germany after 1871 but unlike either Nazi Germany or the former Soviet Union, present-day China is not an imperialist power with unlimited global ambitions, nor is it driven by a millenarian, universalistic ideology. It is, however, a very big and rapidly rising power, and adjusting to such a dramatic rise is one of the most difficult things for an international system to accomplish,” he writes.

Second Day Of Talks On Iran’s Nuclear Program
Iran, the United States and the European Union began an unscheduled second day of talks on Monday over disagreements blocking the resolution of a confrontation over Tehran’s nuclear program, but tensions continue to slow progress, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Suicide Bomber Kills Almost 50 In Nigeria
A suicide bomber dressed as a student killed at least 48 people, most of them students, and injured 79 others at a school assembly in the northeastern Nigerian town of Potiskum on Monday, reports The Los Angeles Times.


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