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Vox Sentences: Let’s give Kim something to talk about

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All you need to know about Trump and Kim Jong Un’s big meeting; Afghanistan’s capital city has been hit with a series of bombings.

Talk that (denuclearizing) talk

Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images
  • In a surprise move announced last night, President Donald Trump plans to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, something no other sitting US president has done to date. [NYT / Peter Baker]
  • The invitation to meet came from the North Korean leader and was announced by a South Korean official, who said Kim is prepared to have the regime halt missile tests and discuss ending its nuclear weapons program for good. [Politico / Bryan Bender, Nahal Toosi, and Nancy Cook]
  • Of course this is major news, but it’s important to approach it with a healthy dose of skepticism. First of all, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemingly threw cold water on the idea of the meeting happening unless North Korea met certain preconditions. [Washington Post / Aaron Blake]
  • Foreign policy experts say it’s certainly a good sign that two leaders who were trading insults and war threats a few months ago seem willing to sit down in a room to talk. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • But it’s also a high-risk situation. Trump isn’t exactly the most measured and careful of people. He doesn’t like preparing for meetings, and he’s shown himself to be pretty easily manipulated and agree to things quickly in past meetings with, say ... Democratic lawmakers. The fact he’ll be sitting down with Kim raises the stakes hugely. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • Experts also say we have another country to thank for this diplomatic effort in the first place: South Korea. That country’s president, Moon Jae-in, thinks the key to peace is through dialogue, and he’s been working hard to achieve that. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • When it comes to actually denuclearizing, it’s worth pointing out that the US and North Korea have different definitions of what the term means. US officials want the North to give up all its weapons, while Kim will likely want the US to give up some of its weapons in turn. [NYT / Max Fisher]
  • While we wait for these talks to kick off, you can satisfy any other burning questions you have about North Korea with a handy explainer from Vox’s Alex Ward. [Vox / Alex Ward]

Terror attacks aren’t stopping in Afghanistan

  • An Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of Shiite Muslims near a mosque complex in Kabul on Friday. At least nine people were killed and 22 were wounded in this latest attack to target ethnic and religious minorities in the Afghan capital.[Reuters / Hamid Shalizi and Mohammad Aziz]
  • The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the strike, but a government spokesperson blamed the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based terrorist organization affiliated with the Taliban. [NYT / Andrew E. Kramer]
  • Meanwhile, in northern Afghanistan last night, the Taliban attacked an army outpost in an hours-long firefight. They also ambushed policemen who were sent in to help the troops, killing six soldiers and 10 members of the local police. Six more members of security forces died in other attacks elsewhere in Afghanistan. [AP / Rahim Faiez and Amir Shah]
  • The Taliban is the Afghan government’s main opponent, and President Ashraf Ghani has recently offered the group peace talks. Today’s violence could be interpreted as a negative response to the offer, even though the Taliban had indicated a willingness to talk with the US (which backs Ghani’s government) twice last month. [Washington Post / Sayed Salahuddin]


  • Stormy Daniels is not going away quietly ... especially after news involving a Trump lawyer’s emails. (It’s always the emails.) [NBC News / Sarah Fitzpatrick and Tracy Connor]
  • Egyptians will vote in a presidential election later this month, but there’s little doubt who will win. (Hint: it’s the current president.) [Time / Tara John]
  • Raising kids in the digital age means navigating dire warnings — “apps are cigarettes for kids!” — and iffy research around the impact of screen time on brain devlopment. [The Verge / Lauren Smiley]
  • Yes, your dog really can tell when you’re sad. Here’s how. [National Geographic / Kimberly DeDecker]


“He needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination. This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable.” [UN Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein condemns Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s slurs against UN human rights activists in a news conference / Reuters]

Listen to this: Today, Explained on the Trump-Kim meeting

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After months of name-calling and test missiles, Donald Trump will be the first sitting United States president to meet with a North Korean leader. Vox’s Yochi Dreazen lays out what to expect from the historic meeting on Today, Explained. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Art19, and Stitcher.

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