Daily Memo: Problems in North Korea, Ultimatums From the US, Aid for Venezuela

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GPF Staff |February 22, 2019

Problems in the Hermit Kingdom. As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepares for his second nuclear summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, he’s leaving behind an uncertain landscape at home. On Wednesday, a report released by Seoul-based think tank North Korea Strategy Center claimed that 50-70 figures in Pyongyang have been purged since late 2018, many of them believed to be opponents of Kim’s outreach to the U.S. and South Korea. Yesterday, Reuters reported that a North Korean memo to the United Nations said drought, floods and U.N. sanctions have created a food shortfall of some 1.4 million tons this year and that the government has been forced to nearly halve rations. Neither of these developments is likely to dramatically affect the nuclear negotiations in the near term; deeper geopolitical forces have left only a narrow space in which the two countries can find agreement. Still, anything that could weaken international sanctions pressure, like the apparent food crisis, will

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