Mirik Milan helps oversee Amsterdam over night. NPR’s Scott Simon asks him about being a “night mayor” and how he balances the needs of residents with the city’s desire to have a vibrant nightlife.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/2017/12/16/571305332/amsterdams-night-mayor-on-the-nightlife-balancing-act?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

The skyline of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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The skyline of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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On the evening of Saturday, Nov. 4, the authorities in Saudi Arabia began rounding up dozens of businessmen, ministers and princes. It was a striking start to an anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by the young and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Among those detained was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a multi-billionaire and the founder of a key Saudi investment firm, Kingdom Holding Company. Its interests include broadcasting and media, banking and telecommunications, and it has significant investments in major corporations around the world, including Citigroup, Twitter and Lyft.

By the time the stock market in Riyadh opened on Nov. 5, shares of KHC, worth 10.28 riyals ($2.74) before the crackdown, had started to tumble. Since then, the company has lost about 20 percent of its value, according to the Financial Times.

Alwaleed’s personal net worth, which also includes vast real estate holdings, has also taken a hit since Nov. 4, according to Forbes, and fell by $2.8 billion to $15.9 billion.

The detention of Alwaleed, 62, an internationally known businessman and philanthropist, has led to speculation about the future of his company, in which he holds a 95 percent stake. No one has heard from Alwaleed, nor has the government said anything about his arrest.

The only communication from KHC has been a statement from CEO Talal Al Maiman, trying to reassure investors that things are business as normal. The government had “full confidence” in the company, the statement said, and KHC’s “experienced and seasoned team of senior executives … are focused on their unwavering responsibilities to KHC’s shareholders and stakeholders.”

There was no mention of Alwaleed.

The many prominent businessmen hauled in by the government last month include some of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest people.

The government has been negotiating with detainees in the hope of bringing in billions of dollars in settlements. It “could recover as much as $100 billion from the settlement deals,” according to Bloomberg News.

Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz, son of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, shown here in Riyadh in 2008, reportedly paid $1 billion after being detained by Saudi authorities.

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Prince Miteb bin Abdul Aziz, son of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, shown here in Riyadh in 2008, reportedly paid $1 billion after being detained by Saudi authorities.

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“Most detainees facing corruption allegations by the Committee agreed to a settlement,” the government public prosecutor said in a statement on Dec. 5.

Some detainees have been released after paying their settlements, including Prince Miteb bin Abdullah — once seen as a contender to the throne — who reportedly paid $1 billion for his freedom. The government public prosecutor statement said 159 people are still being held.

Tom Rogers, associate director at Oxford Economics, a global economic forecasting company, says the immediate impact of the detentions has been felt by Saudi banks. With the accounts of some of their most important customers frozen, he says, liquidity has been crimped, affecting their ability to make loans.

But Rogers says the bigger impact is on the confidence of overseas companies doing business with key figures in Saudi Arabia.

“Unless you see swift resolution to the arrests,” he says, “then the risk is that overseas companies will look at potential investments in Saudi Arabia and feel unsure about whether or not something like this might happen to the people they’re dealing with further down the line.” Many investors will wait and see how the situation turns out, he says, before making large investments in Saudi Arabia.

Rogers says the crown prince will need to maintain the confidence of the international business community if he wants to push through ambitious plans to wean the kingdom from its dependency on oil revenues and diversify its economy. Major projects such as Neom, an ambitious new economic zone and business hub envisioned to be bigger than Dubai, will require foreign investment, he says.

Tackling rampant corruption in Saudi Arabia is also critical to investor confidence, but so is the way anti-corruption measures are implemented. So far, there has been no transparency surrounding November’s detentions, and no sense of due process.

Allison Wood, a Middle East specialist with the consultancy Control Risks, says this is creating a lot of uncertainty among Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest people.

“There’s a great deal of concern about protecting personal wealth,” she says. “Many high-net worth individuals are seeking to move as many of their assets out of the country and into funds that are relatively untraceable to them.”

Article source: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/12/16/571077132/saudi-banks-and-businesses-feel-effects-of-high-profile-detentions?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

The leader of Austria’s conservative People’s Party, Sebastian Kurz (right), and the country’s far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache (left) give a joint press conference in Vienna on Saturday.

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The leader of Austria’s conservative People’s Party, Sebastian Kurz (right), and the country’s far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache (left) give a joint press conference in Vienna on Saturday.

ROLAND SCHLAGER/AFP/Getty Images

Austria finalized a deal late Friday to make the 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz Europe’s youngest leader, and to form a new governing coalition that will include a far-right party with Nazi roots.

Exactly two months after Austrians went to the polls, Kurz, 31, struck a deal to join his conservative Austrian People’s Party with the right-wing Freedom Party, led by Heinz-Christian Strache.

Strache, who was once arrested for “taking part in a Hitler Youth-style torchlit neo-Nazi rally” according to the U.K.’s The Telegraph, will serve as vice chancellor and minister for sports and public servants, and his nationalist Freedom Party will have members in several key leadership positions including the interior, defense, and foreign ministries.

The Austrian People’s Party will have seven ministers and one deputy, and the Freedom Party will have five ministers and one deputy, according to the Associated Press.

On Saturday morning, left-leaning Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen did not object to the new governing coalition, reports NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi-Nelson.

He “gave what looked like a forced smile in front of cameras,” Nelson said, and cryptically told reporters “as much as a morning can be good, I bid you good morning.”

Austria is governed by a parliamentary republic. A president is elected every six years as chief of state, but the head of government is the chancellor, who is the leader of the majority party.

Assuming the partnership is officially ratified, the new government is expected to be sworn in on Monday. Austria will become the only western European country with a governing far-right party.

Kurz is currently the country’s foreign minister, and he has “stressed the importance of a pro-European direction” according to the AP, although the Freedom Party, which has control of the foreign ministry, has traditionally been Euroskeptic.

Van der Bellen assured on Saturday, however, that in the party coalition negotiations it was agreed upon to support a “strong European Union.”

The People’s Party received 31 percent of the votes in October’s election, the most of any party. The Freedom Party, which was founded in the 1950s by a former Nazi minister, came in second place with 27 percent.

Many have voiced concern over the Freedom Party having a prominent role in the country’s government.

“It is sad and distressing that such a platform should receive more than a quarter of the vote and become the country’s second party,” said Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, around the time of the election. “It is still full of xenophobes and racists and is, mildly put, very ambiguous toward Austria’s Nazi past.”

Article source: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/16/571318499/new-austrian-government-will-have-a-far-right-tilt?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Cocktail avocados: adorable, seedless — safer for those who can’t cut the kind with a pit?

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Cocktail avocados: adorable, seedless — safer for those who can’t cut the kind with a pit?

Maanvi Singh/for NPR

Behold, the cocktail avocado. No, that’s not a weird cucumber. It’s the latest in avocado innovation, on offer at British retail chain Marks Spencer.

According to an Instagram post from MS itself, “It’s the avocado you never knew you needed.” That may be because the British press are promoting them as the answer to “avocado hand,” the name surgeons have given to the particular body of injuries sustained while pitting an avocado.

As avocados grow increasingly popular, more and more people are apparently cutting themselves. While there aren’t any official, global figures on how many people accidentally hurt themselves this way, anecdotal reports abound.

In the U.K., surgeons report increasing numbers of avocado-related injuries. And emergency rooms in London have reported surges in such accidents. “It’s a heavy price to pay for an Instagrammable brunch,” notes the Independent.

David Ward, president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, tells NPR: ” ‘Avocado hand’ can result in surgery as a result of people causing serious nerve and tendon injuries. Such is the extent of this injury, it can require specialist reconstructive surgery, and at worse can leave you without full use of your hand, so it is a particularly concerning public health trend.”

Ward says it is a more common problem than you’d think, with plastic surgery units regularly treating patients with these injuries.

It’s a big enough deal that earlier this year, Ward’s group called for simple warning labels on avocados that advise people on how to cut them safely. Simon Eccles, secretary of the association and former president of the plastic surgery section of the Royal Society of Medicine, told the Times of London: “Perhaps we could have a cartoon picture of an avocado with a knife, and a big red cross going through it?”

In New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation — a government body that provides financial compensation for citizens who’ve been injured — apparently paid out more than $53,000 to people hurt in avocado-related incidents.

And so the cocktail avocado comes to the rescue.

These mini-miracles are the result of un-pollinated avocado blossoms, which develop into seedless fruit.

Unfortunately, they only grow in Spain, and they’re only available in December. In a press release, MS says the cocktail avocado is usually reserved for “chefs, to be used in top-end restaurants. This year MS has been able to source a small number of the avocados exclusively.”

I was one of the few, lucky non-chefs who was able to purchase a pack of six for £2 ($2.67). According to MS, the whole fruit is edible, including the skin.

The verdict? Maybe avoid the skin unless you also enjoy the taste of orange pith or grass. It peels off easily by hand.

The rest of it tastes pretty good — just like a regular avocado, minus the tinny taste of blood.

If you’re unable to get your hands on a cocktail avocado, see here for a good tutorial on how to cut up a regular one without slicing through your hand.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/12/15/570822807/avocado-hand-injuries-are-real-is-a-seedless-fruit-the-answer?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Getting ready for a hip replacement? You’ll fare better if you lose the extra weight and get exercise first.

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British Medical Journal

Getting ready for a hip replacement? You’ll fare better if you lose the extra weight and get exercise first.

British Medical Journal

The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.

So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.

Dr. Catrin Wigley at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and colleagues analyzed six National Health Service patient information leaflets from across England for total hip replacement and found that the average readability level was age 17, even though the average Brit reads at a 4th-grade level. You’d have to have the reading comprehension of a high school senior to understand from these brochures what a hip replacement is, why you need it and what complications might occur.

The researchers recruited 57 nearby elementary school children ages 8 to 10 to help revise the content.

Hey docs, be sure to ask the patient how it went.

British Medical Journal


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British Medical Journal

Hey docs, be sure to ask the patient how it went.

British Medical Journal

After a lesson about hip replacement, the children were asked to write their own leaflet and draw an image to illustrate it. They were given four headings: indications for surgery, complications of surgery, before the procedure, and the procedure.

What the children came up with was clear, concise and without sugarcoating.

“Your hip is old and rotten,” says Mohammed.

“It is past its sell-by date,” adds Jaime.

What is not allowed before surgery? Coca Cola, fries, and chocolate, according to Lilly.

Of course, no one is suggesting we actually let children write the guides, but maybe we can learn something from their approach.

The authors write: “What better way to write a new leaflet than by engaging with 9-year-old children, so that we can begin to appreciate the disparity in the language we use to convey information through formal patient information leaflets.”

It’s a novel experiment, but can’t really work in practice, according to Cynthia Baur, director of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland’s Public School of Health.

“While children may be able to say things simply, they don’t have the context and experience to recognize aspects of topics that might need more in-depth information or explanation, and they can’t anticipate adult concerns,” Baur says.

But it may shed fresh light on a problem that has been percolating for decades.

Low health literacy leads to poor outcomes for patients and millions of dollars in unnecessary health costs. Countless commissions and organizations have developed plans for improvement. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a 73-page action plan to improve health literacy and called for making it a public health priority.

The proliferation of computer-generated patient leaflets was supposed to help. Yet measurement tools with great names like Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) and Gunning Fog (GFI) show that these patient education materials are often too complex for the average person.

“I definitely think patient materials have improved, but they are still far from where they need to be,” says Baur, who edited the HHS action plan and created the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s health literacy site prior to her appointment at Maryland. “These tools, along with audience testing, of the materials will make health materials much better much faster.”

So can we learn something from the experiment? Maybe simplicity. “Let’s take our cue from the children and begin speaking honestly and to the point with our patients in a language they understand,” Wigley and her colleagues write in their analysis.

What works, says Bauer, is involving the intended recipients. “Health care organizations that truly care about excellent patient experiences and well-being will find ways to involve patients, caregivers and others in the routine development of all types of health communication, even forms and facility signs,” she says.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/15/570852375/want-help-explaining-a-medical-procedure-ask-a-9-year-old?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

The secretary of state goes to the U.N. on Friday, just days after he offered to talk to North Korea with no preconditions. That would represent a change in approach for the Trump administration.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/2017/12/15/571045081/rex-tillerson-travels-to-u-n-to-discuss-issues-with-north-korea?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

House and Senate Republicans have hammered out details of a final tax overhaul bill. Also, the FCC is set to repeal net neutrality rules, and an update on Tanzanian U.N. peacekeepers who were killed.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/2017/12/14/570723585/news-brief-senate-and-house-republicans-agree-on-tax-bill-fcc-to-repeal-net-neut?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Recently arrived Rohingya refugees queue for relief aid as a man beats back the crowd with bamboo in November in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

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Recently arrived Rohingya refugees queue for relief aid as a man beats back the crowd with bamboo in November in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Allison Joyce/Getty Images

At least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed in what has been described as “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar’s Rakhine state over a one-month period between August and September, according to the international aid group Doctors Without Borders.

The group, known by its French acronym MSF, conducted field studies to determine the number of people killed in the period Aug. 25, when a brutal crackdown by Myanmar’s military began, and Sept. 24. Myanmar’s widely disbelieved official count for the same period is just 400. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have streamed into neighboring Bangladesh since the violence began.

MSF’s number includes at least 730 children under the age of five.

Myanmar has disputed the claims of ethnic cleansing, which include accusations of mass rape.

“The numbers of deaths are likely to be an underestimation, as we have not surveyed all refugee settlements in Bangladesh and because the surveys don’t account for the families who never made it out of Myanmar,” Dr. Sidney Wong, MSF’s medical director, was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

Wong said the majority of those killed were shot, others were either burned or beaten to death.

“We heard reports of entire families who perished after they were locked inside their homes, while they were set alight,” Wong said.

International estimates place the number of Rohingya who have fled Myanmar since August at nearly 650,000 – most arriving in Bangladesh, where they have are housed in massive refugee camps.

“[Those] who do manage to cross the border still report being subject to violence in recent weeks,” Wong said.

As Michael Sullivan has reported for NPR, following the crackdown, witnesses and survivors report a systematic campaign of rape in addition to murder.

Michael reports: “Myanmar’s government doesn’t consider the Rohingya to be citizens; it says they are immigrants from Bangladesh who are living in Myanmar illegally. [The] Rohingya live in Rakhine state … are almost entirely disenfranchised and need permission, for instance, to travel outside their own villages or to marry. Many are restricted to living in internment camps, segregated from the local Buddhist population.”

Article source: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/14/570725399/at-least-6-700-myanmar-rohingya-killed-in-single-month-aid-group-says?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen at his annual news conference, in an image released by the Kremlin.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen at his annual news conference, in an image released by the Kremlin.

The Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual news conference on Thursday, an event that commonly runs for hours, offering a kaleidoscope-like glimpse of Putin’s view of his country and the world. In this year’s edition, the topics ranged from President Trump to Russia’s ban at the 2018 Winter Olympics — and the state of the fishing industry in Murmansk.

“There are things Trump wanted to do but couldn’t yet, like reforming healthcare … or improving relations [with] Russia,” NPR’s Lucian Kim reports Putin as saying at the Kremlin. “It’s clear that even if he wanted to, he couldn’t.”

The news conference sometimes brings unexpected imagery to bear — and that held true at this year’s event. In response to a question about wealth inequality and market competition, Putin said, “The government should not look like a bearded man who’s trying to pluck cabbage out of his beard in a lazy way, looking at how the government is transforming into a dark puddle where oligarchs catch their golden fish.”

ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran asked Putin a two-part question during the news conference, about “a very large number of contacts between Russian citizens associated with your government and high officials of the Trump campaign.”

“All of this is not normal,” Moran said, noting that several people with ties to the Trump campaign or administration are now facing charges. He asked Putin to explain the “sheer number of contacts” to the American people.

“You praised Donald Trump during the campaign. What is your appraisal of Donald Trump as president, after one year?” Moran asked in English, adding, “Spasiba,” or “thank you.”

Putin replied, “It’s not up to me to assess what Trump has been doing. It’s up to those who have elected him, it’s up to the American people.”

The Russian president’s remarks were translated into English on a live video feed from the Kremlin, He went on to say, “There have been some major achievements” in Trump’s first year, including gains by the U.S. stock market.

Putin then spoke about ways the countries could work together — and he wound up his remarks by saying, “Well, that’s pretty much it” — prompting Moran, without the aid of a microphone, to stand and repeat the first part of his question about allegations of collusion.

“That’s been invented by those who are in the opposition, people who oppose President Trump, to delegitimize his time in office,” Putin said. “It really seems strange to me, because it seems that they don’t understand. They undermine their own nation. They limit the powers of the president who’s been elected. It means that they don’t have respect for those people, those Americans who elected Donald Trump.”

Putin said that in political campaigns worldwide, Russian diplomats and other government officials meet with candidates and their campaigns to talk about issues and potential plans.

“They’re trying to figure out what those people will do, when and if they come to power,” Putin said.

“What’s so strange about it?” he asked. “Why do you have this spy hysteria? Russian meddling hysteria?”

“You just need to do your homework, draw the right conclusions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said to questions about his government’s dealings with President Trump’s campaign.

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The Kremlin

“You just need to do your homework, draw the right conclusions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said to questions about his government’s dealings with President Trump’s campaign.

The Kremlin

Mentioning revelations about Russian purchases of ads on social media, Putin said they represented a tiny percentage of what American entities spent. And he criticized the U.S. for putting restrictions on Russian-backed media outlets such as RT.

“You just need to do your homework, draw the right conclusions,” Putin told Moran. “We shouldn’t attack each other.”

Putin, who recently announced a bid for re-election that would keep him in office through 2024, also spoke about the idea of rotating personnel. As Lucian Kim reports, the president said that “rotation of personnel stops abuse” in the army, and the idea could also work in law enforcement.

In last year’s iteration of this event, Putin attacked the policies of outgoing President Barack Obama, who he said had divided the American people. He also took issue with Obama saying that late President Ronald Reagan would “roll over in his grave” because of Putin’s popularity in the GOP.

“On the contrary,” Putin said, “Reagan would be happy that Republicans are winning everywhere and had chosen Trump, who understood the mood of the American people.”

Thursday’s news conference lasted for nearly four hours. Nearly three hours into the session, a man from Murmansk stood to pepper Putin with questions about how the fishing and processing industries are affected by federal decrees. He waved a 400-page research document to back his case.

“I’m no journalist, I deceived you,” the man said, adding that he heads the board of directors of a fishing company in the northern city near the Barents Sea.

When told that he shouldn’t have lied, the man, who said his name was Mikhail, replied, “We’ve been working hard to survive.”

“We should sell fish like we sell chicken,” the man said, after stating that fishermen could deliver fish to the market at a much lower price than it currently must.

The man concluded his remarks by stating, “Yes, I’m here illegitimately. I pretended to be a journalist” — a line that won applause from the crowd.

Another notable exchange dealt with Putin’s re-election campaign — and it showed how quickly the Russian president can pivot away from a subject. We’ll excerpt the official Kremlin transcript, which begins with press secretary Dmitry Peskov calling on a reporter from Life News:

Dmitry Peskov: Life News.

Alexander Yunashev: Good afternoon, Mr President.

While we were waiting for your announcement that you will run for president, a number of other candidates for this office came forward. However, their approval ratings are in the single digits, if not closer to the margin of error.

In your opinion, why is it that a normal, influential opposition candidate has not emerged in almost 20 years of your rule? Why is there no No. 2 politician? How come? Don’t you feel bored? Is it interesting for you to compete in the election without any major opponents?

Vladimir Putin: In order to make your question a bit more poignant, I saw a young lady holding up a poster saying “Putin, bye-bye.”

Remark: Putin, babay.

Vladimir Putin: Ah, babay ["grandfather," in the Tatar language]. My vision does not seem to be getting any better with age. I am sorry.

Dmitry Peskov: Pass the microphone, please.

Question: Good afternoon…

Article source: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/14/570734131/why-do-you-have-this-spy-hysteria-putin-asks-at-annual-news-conference?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waits to speak at the 2017 Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. He told the audience the U.S. shouldn’t require North Korea to promise to give up its nuclear weapons as a condition of holding talks.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waits to speak at the 2017 Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. He told the audience the U.S. shouldn’t require North Korea to promise to give up its nuclear weapons as a condition of holding talks.

Susan Walsh/AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is ready to talk about talking to North Korea.

“We’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. And we’re ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” he said, in remarks Tuesday at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

It sounds like a chance for a diplomatic resolution to the dangerous nuclear crisis with North Korea, which has gotten tenser in recent months after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test and two successful launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Throughout 2017, incendiary threats and name-calling have flown from the U.S. and Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, and the U.S. policy of “maximum pressure” has led to increasing sanctions to starve North Korea of resources.

Now, the secretary of state is saying the U.S. wants to sit down with North Korean leaders.

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“We can talk about the weather if you want,” Tillerson said, in his overture to North Korea. “We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face? And then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map of what we might be willing to work towards. I don’t think — it’s not realistic to say we’re only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program.”

Some North Korea security watchers — like Van Jackson — are skeptical.

“I just sort of rolled my eyes,” said Jackson, a former Asia specialist for the Defense Department who is now at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington. He says this is just posturing from Tillerson because the U.S. can’t effectively say it wants to talk when its goal is complete, verifiable denuclearization by North Korea. For Pyongyang, giving up its nuclear program is a non-starter.

“We know that North Korea is not going to go there. So if you want to actually negotiate something, you can’t have an unrealistic goal,” Jackson says.

In Seoul, James Kim of the policy think tank the Asan Institute says the significance of this depends on North Korea’s response to Tillerson.

“It really depends whether North Korea stops testing and comes to the bargaining table to talk, or they continue to test and [show they're] not going to engage in any talks at this time,” Kim says.

For its part, South Korea is pushing for a peaceful resolution. Its foreign minister wants to reopen a communication channel with Pyongyang to avoid military mishaps and to discuss family reunions for those split by the Korean War. But no matter what South Korea wants, both Kim and Jackson agree Tillerson’s words are diluted by the fact he and President Trump often say opposing things. Tillerson has signaled a willingness to talk before — with Trump then undermining his message by tweeting that talks won’t work.

“The total lack of consistency. The total inability to separate rhetoric from substance. All of it makes people throw up their hands,” Jackson says. “How can you take what Tillerson says now seriously in the context of the past 10, 11 months?”

That is a question North Korea will weigh in deciding whether to respond.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/12/13/570390508/tillerson-makes-a-n-korea-overture-but-it-highlights-his-credibility-problem?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world