Speed Reads


The U.S. appears to begin re-engaging with the Taliban and North Korea

The United States rebooted discussions on two crucial geopolitical fronts this week.

First, U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with the Taliban in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Friday for the first time since President Trump declared peace negotiations to end the 18-year conflict in Afghanistan "dead" in September. Few details have been released about the meeting, which was described as informal, but there reportedly has not yet been a resumption of peace talks.

Meanwhile, the State Department was less secretive on the North Korea front. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Saturday that officials from the U.S. and North Korean officials arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, to hold talks about Pyongyang's denuclearization process after the negotiations between the two sides broke down in February. North Korea had announced earlier this week they were ready to resume talks; one day later it fired an unidentified projectile into the sea.

Pompeo said it's too early to know if the talks yielded anything substantial, but added that North Korea "came with spirit and willingness to move forward" in the negotiations.