US military drills continue
The U.S. intends to continue its joint drills with South Korea at the conclusion of the Olympics and Paralympics, a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday. Seoul announced that North Korea said it might be willing to talk with the U.S. about denuclearization, a step the regime has previously said it would never take.
Why it matters: North Korea views those joint drills as highly threatening and as preparation for invasion. This alone could stymie any potential talks between the North and the U.S.
What they’re saying: A halt to North Korean nuclear tests is not enough for the U.S. to come to the table to talk since “mass-producing nuclear warheads and nuclear missiles…could continue even in the absence of them doing test launches,” the senior administration official said.
What’s next: The U.S. will be having talks with allies later this week, according to the senior administration official. They said the U.S. would like to hear more about what steps the North would take to denuclearize.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Egypt today on the first leg of his first trip abroad since being named Saudi Arabia's heir. The trip will include stops in Cairo, London, and New York, per the Guardian.
Why it matters: Saudi Arabia is going through what the Guardian terms "one of the most extraordinary periods in the country’s modern history, a time of overhaul at home and upheaval in the region." Prince Mohammed has accumulated power very quickly, and used it to jail millionaires in what he calls an anti-corruption drive, wage war in Yemen and launch cultural reforms.
Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow at the Brooking Institute and author of "Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR," tells Axios the Saudis will avoid questions on the war in Yemen, as well as "awkward and embarrassing questions about Gulf money trails" to Jared Kushner.Read More...