The licensing of opium for medical purposes in Afghanistan, most prominently advocated by the Senlis Council,1 would reduce some of the negative effects of unmitigated illicit drug production. It would also eliminate several important negative side-effects of standard counternarcotics policies. However, serious legal, political, economic, efficiency, and security obstacles to launching such a licensing scheme persist in Afghanistan under current circumstances. These obstacles would have to be overcome for the licensing policy to become viable. Even if instituted, the licensing scheme would not be a panacea, and some serious problems posed by large-scale opium cultivation would persist. Because licensing absorbing only a part of the illicit economy could easily generate new problems, including ethnic and tribal tension, licensing should only be undertaken once the Taliban insurgency has been defeated, other obstacles to licensing have been overcome, and licensing could be implemented on a country-wide scale.
[Kim Jong Un] did not engage diplomatically at all in those first seven years [as the leader of North Korea], probably because he didn’t want to hear the Chinese nagging him about advancing these weapons. And also he wasn’t going to start bargaining or negotiating them away. ... Kim has done a pivot where he’s doing a maximum engagement.
Having someone [like Andrew Kim, head of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center] with strong links to South Korean officials suggests there’s probably a high level of coordination going on [in preparation for the Trump-Kim summit], which is a good thing.
[On Trump-Moon relationship] It’s not a bad relationship, but I wouldn’t call it a love fest either.