TOP NEWS CIA Director Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend Washington Post Japan Fears Being Sidelined by Trump on Trade and North Korea New York Times Russia’s Pacific Coast Economy Hurt By Sanctions Against North Korea NPR Trump administration repurposes $65 million for new nuclear warhead design Defense News EAST ASIA CIA Director Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend Washington Post4/18/18 CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a top-secret visit to North Korea as an envoy for President Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un, and plans for a possible summit between the two leaders are underway, Trump confirmed Wednesday. Pompeo sets an irreversible course to meet Kim that Trump may not want CNN4/18/18 Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang and met with leader Kim Jong Un himself, a move that appears to signify both sides’ commitment to have a summit and discuss denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, and giving Kim the presidential audience he’s craved. Seoul may send special envoys to N. Korea if necessary for summit: Cheong Wa Dae Yonhap News4/17/18 South Korea may send special envoys to North Korea if necessary to arrange or ensure the success of their summit next week, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday. South Korea says it will lay the groundwork for Trump to talk to Kim about nuclear weapons Washington Post4/18/18 South Korea and the United States are looking for a way to guarantee “a bright future” for North Korea if its leader Kim Jong Un will give up his nuclear weapons program, the national security adviser in Seoul said Wednesday, as preparations for next week’s inter-Korean summit gather pace. Trump says US and NKorea talking at ‘extremely high levels’ Washington Post4/17/18 President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. and North Korea are holding direct talks at “extremely high levels” in preparation for a potential summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. A glimpse of life along China’s border with North Korea Wired4/17/18 When Elijah Hurwitz checked into the Hilton Garden Inn in Dandong, China, he knew his room would have an extraordinary view: The hotel sits near the banks of the Yalu River overlooking North Korea. Japan Fears Being Sidelined by Trump on Trade and North Korea New York Times4/18/18 On Wednesday in Tokyo, critics were skeptical that Mr. Trump would give Japan much consideration once he got into a room with Mr. Kim. RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE U.S. nuclear submarine that attacked Syria ‘not welcome’ back to Naples, Italy Newsweek4/17/18 The U.S. nuclear submarine that took part in a series of missile strikes conducted by U.S., French and U.K. warships and warplanes against suspected Syrian chemical weapons sites is not welcome near the waters of one of Italy’s largest seaports, according to the city’s mayor. Russia’s Pacific Coast Economy Hurt By Sanctions Against North Korea NPR4/17/18 Russia’s support of U.N. sanctions against North Korea means the country will expel tens of thousands of North Korean migrant laborers. The Russian port city of Vladivostok is one area being impacted. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY Los Alamos Nuclear Facility Safe After Evacuation Order US News4/18/18 Officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory ordered a partial evacuation of a nuclear research building after a report of a bulging hazardous waste drum. Trump administration repurposes $65 million for new nuclear warhead design Defense News4/17/18 The Trump administration has requested $65 million be repurposed for the Department of Energy’s budget in order to start work on a new low-yield nuclear warhead design. OPINION AND ANALYSIS The Korean summit that really matters War on the RocksRamon Pacheco Pardo 4/18/18 South Korea is hoping that the inter-Korean summit will constrain the options available to the United States in any future negotiation, thereby putting engagement, not confrontation, at the forefront of Korean Peninsula affairs. Iran deal at risk due to John Bolton’s extremism Financial TimesDavid Gardner 4/17/18 EU efforts to preserve nuclear restraint agreement may not be enough Trump’s North Korea denuclearization negotiations likely hinge on China. Kim Jong Un knows what he’s doing. NBC NewsAnish Goel 4/17/18 Despite what Trump or John Bolton may think, all roads to Pyongyang still run through Beijing. Bill Clinton Once Struck a Nuclear Deal With North Korea History.com4/17/18 President Bill Clinton took the podium on October 18, 1994, with a speech that reads like a sigh of relief—the announcement of a landmark nuclear agreement between the United States and North Korea. North Korea: can Trump succeed where so many others have failed? The GuardianRobert Kelly 4/18/18 South Korea is talking about a peace treaty with Kim Jong-un but US president’s participation is a huge wild card Goodbye DMZ? What an End to the Korean War Would Mean: QuickTake Washington Post4/17/18 As neighborly disputes go, this one really has dragged on. Some 65 years since open hostilities ended, North and South Korea are still technically at war.