Monday Briefing | April 30

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The leaders of North and South Korea met face-to-face in a historic summit between the two countries, declaring their commitment to a new era of peace. | Photo courtesy EPA/Korea Summit Press/Pool

Stories to Follow

Historic Inter-Korean Summit: North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in met on April 27 in a historic leadership summit between the two countries — only the third time that leaders of the divided countries have met since 1950. The two men declared that a new era of peace had begun, possibly leading to an official truce to end the Korean War and signaling a departure from the heightened tension of the past year. This summit precedes the anticipated meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un in May or early June to negotiate the end of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The actual terms of denuclearization have not yet been established, and an agreement would require the participation of other international signatories.

The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Despite French President Emmanuel Macron’s appeal for President Trump to stay in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (or the Iran nuclear deal), the future of the agreement is uncertain as the May 12 deadline approaches for the American president to decide whether to continue to waive nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. The deal lifted severe economic sanctions, in exchange for the curbing of Iran’s nuclear program along with strict international monitoring. President Trump has vowed to withdraw from the agreement, calling it “the worst deal ever,” unless it is renegotiated by its European signatories. The outcomes of a U.S. withdrawal have allies concerned, as it could reduce credibility of negotiations with North Korea about its nuclear program, exacerbate tensions between the U.S. and other global powers, and provoke a retaliatory response by Iran.

Happening This Week

“Far from the Media’s Spotlight: Global Humanitarian Crises Outside the Public Eye” | Tuesday, May 1, 6-8 PM, American Red Cross 520 W 49th Street
As armed conflict, natural disasters and other emergencies proliferate, more people across the globe turn to NGOs for humanitarian assistance. In fact, the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies recently declared 2017 as a year of “unprecedented humanitarian needs.” Yet despite this grim reality, only a limited number of these crises capture the general public’s attention on a sustained basis. Join the American Red Cross for a panel discussion between experts in humanitarian and global affairs about these “silent” disasters and the humanitarian implications of such lack of visibility. RSVP here.

“Social divisions among the barely literate in the Soviet Union of 1939-40: an exercise in historical sociolinguistics” | Wednesday, May 2, 4-5:30 PM, 19 University Place, 2nd Floor
Historical sociolinguistics seek to establish social dialects (and thus socio-economic divisions) at some period in the past. This presentation is based on a remarkable collection of about 300 letters written from family at home to Soviet servicemen fighting in the Winter (Soviet-Finnish) War of 1939-40. Reflecting the composition of the Soviet society, most letters are from peasants/kolkhozniks, though other “lower classes” of the Soviet society are also represented. Unsurprisingly, more than half are from women. Since the recipients were conscripts of roughly the same age, the letter writers neatly fall into three generations: parents; wives, siblings or girlfriends; and much younger siblings or children. This is a talk by Alexander Nakhimovsky of Colgate University. This event is part of the Occasional Series, sponsored by the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.

In Your Free Time

Take a trip to Governors Island! The 172-acre island that features events, car-free cycling, art and culture, and beautiful views from New York Harbor reopens on May 1. Ferries will be free for all visitors from May 1-6.

This week’s Monday Briefing is brought to you by Laura Salter.

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Journal of Political Inquiry

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