Reason Roundup

At Nuke Talks, Trump Says North Korea's Beaches Would Be Great Condo Spots: Reason Roundup

Plus: Dennis Rodman promotes cannabis cryptocurrency in North Korea, resisting "hate speech," and ruling expected today on AT&T/Time-Warner merger


Historic summit opens path to peace and a lot of questions. President Trump promised that the U.S. will stop all "war games" on the Korean peninsula if North Korea's Kim Jong Un will start the process of denuclearization—a process Trump expects Kim to get on "very quickly" after their historic meeting in Singapore today.

"We are going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world," Trump said after the meeting in a joint statement with Kim. It said the U.S. is "committed to provide security guarantees" and that Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

"We had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind," said Kim afteward. "The world will see a major change."

The Trump-Kim summit "opened the door to ending seven decades of hostility between the two countries," says The New York Times in a live briefing on all the nitty gritty details.

It may have also opened the door to Trump Towers Pyongyang.

In a news conference following the summit, Trump also praised North Korea's beaches "from a real estate perspective." You can see that the country has great beaches "whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean," said Trump. He continued:

I said, 'Boy, look at that view. Wouldn't that make a great condo?' You could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective. You have South Korea, you have China and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that, right? It's great.

Overall, the post-summit statements from Trump and Kim are "bold" yet lack detail, reports the Times.

In a post-summit interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Trump said North Korea was "going to get rid of certain ballistic missile sites and various other things" but that they would "put that out later." He said they will "probably need another meeting."

Kim did pledge to destroy one particular missile-engine testing site, according to Trump—though this was not in the agreement they signed. "I got that after we signed the agreement," the president told reporters.

I said, 'Do me a favor; we've got this missile-engine testing site. We know where it is because of the heat.' It's incredible the equipment we have, to be honest with you.

Reactions to the summit and to Trump's post-summit statements have been predictably mixed. While North Korean denuclearization is undoubtedly a good thing, some worry that Kim is all talk. We'll see.

Many are freaking out over Trump's real estate comments, but it's hard to tell how seriously he meant them and, hey, capitalist development has helped defang dictators at least as bad as Kim.

Trump's complimentary words about Kim and North Korea have also raised cries of alarm—his statement that things were "rough" in North Korea but also "rough in a lot of places" echoed the "violence on many sides" that drew ire after protests last year in Charlottesville.

But others point out that there would be little good to come from the U.S. president publicly bashing Kim while attempting diplomacy, and suggest that this is Trump's way of buttering up the brutal dictator. As long as Trump doesn't start getting any ideas from Kim, we're probably OK.

A few additional details of interest from and perspectives on the Trump-Kim summit:

Oh, and Dennis Rodman was there.


Resisting "hate speech." Cato Institute Vice President John Samples reviews former ACLU president Nadine Strossen's new book, Hate Speech: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, on the Cato blog this week. "Hate speech" laws very often "fall hardest on the very people they are intended to protect," Samples writes. More:

Strossen draws attention to the fact that prohibitions of "hate speech" are characterized by unavoidable vagueness and overbreadth. A law is "unduly vague" (and unconstitutional) when people "of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning." "Hate speech" laws are inherently subjective and ambiguous in their language, with the use of words like "insulting," "abusive," and "outrageous." Specific to laws about speech, vagueness "inevitably deters people from engaging in constitutionally protected speech".


Ruling in AT&T/Time-Warner merger case comes today.