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.


NEXT: 'This Is a New Low...To Separate Mothers from Their Children': Rep. Pramila Jayapal

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    1. They’re waiting for Obama to put his back in the mail. They’re low on stock.

      It’ll be a scratch-and-dent, but better than nothing.

    2. I said the same thing about the beaches in Somalia around 35 years ago. And now they have resorts in Mogadishu. Berbera’s beaches were pristine, other than the occasional goat skull or Soviet helipad.

  1. Elizabeth deserves a raise!

    1. Oh, very well. Nobel!

  2. No one in China knows the “Chinese proverb”

    We can’t even escape millennial headlines when being a pedant about someone else?

    1. It’s a Chinese proverb now, bitch.

    2. Yeah, I honestly don’t believe them either, China has a ton of people and that’s a fairly generic statement.

  3. Vast Majority of Under-35 Italians Now Oppose Mass Migration
    …Berlusconi announced this week that he would look to deport some 600,000 illegal migrants from the country if his party is elected to office next month. The former Prime Minister’s coalition partner and Lega party leader Matteo Salvini, has also promised to deport at least 500,000 illegal immigrants and secure the country’s northern and southern borders.

    Antonio Noto, of rival polling firm IPR, said that he did not think the recent murder of 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro, who was killed and her body chopped into pieces by a Nigerian migrant drug dealer, would have a large impact on the election next month….

    1. who was killed and her body chopped into pieces by a Nigerian migrant drug dealer, would have a large impact on the election next month….

      It’s all swings and roundabouts.

  4. Domino’s pizza is now branding potholes.

    Dunkin Donuts really missed out on an opportunity here for marijuana-laced munchkins.


      1. Are you in Minnesota? Then yes.

      2. REZOORTZ!

  5. the FBI “cherrypicked” texts between him and actress Allison Mack for the feds’ sex-trafficking case against them.

    well, then, stop sending a series of one word texts to tell someone about the couple you thought might be having sex while stuck in traffic.

    1. Only do that at speed limit on an open highway.

      1. And only of the road has been patched up by a pizza-delivery restaurant.

  6. “The Trump Doctrine is, ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

    America, Fuck Yeah!

    1. How unseemly!

      /NY Mag cucks

  7. CNN is reporting that things got a bit awkward at the summit after Trump semi-shouted while shaking Un’s hand: “DONG, WHERE IS MY AUTO-MO-BEEL?!?”

    1. OK I lold.

  8. It’s judgment day for AT&T’s merger with Time Warner

    Timewarnerator 2: Judgment Day

  9. 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

    Well, aside from the imprecise language and gaping loopholes, that seems like a successful deal!

  10. As long as Trump doesn’t start getting any ideas from Kim, we’re probably OK.

    And we can always rely on Congress’s sterling reputation at reigning in executive power grabs.

    1. I smell another Special Investigation ….

    2. Well they did pass a law eliminating his ability to reduce tariffs with Russia along with a DACA bill and a restriction on his authority to impose tariffs already moving along in Congress.

      Actually, this Congress has restricted the power of the executive more than any other Congress of the same political party as the president has ever done.

      1. Which shows how really mad they were about Obama’s over reaching does it not?

      2. Which shows how really mad they were about Obama’s over reaching does it not?

  11. No one in China knows the “Chinese proverb”

    Sheesh, the Chinese are even less educated than *we* are!

    1. “We” are educated as much as an elderly largemouth bass.

      1. Ancient Chinese secret, huh?

    2. Come on, the Chinese don’t even know how to make…well, me!

  12. I assume, somehow, the summit was a death blow for freedom and liberty.

    1. Make “an ass of you and me.”

    2. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!


    2. Dynamite!

  13. “We had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind.”

    With all due respect, then how can it be “historic”?

    1. Because leaving the past behind makes this event the beginning of history.

      1. This is the end
        Beautiful friend
        This is the end
        My only friend
        The end

        Of our elaborate plans, the end
        Of everything that stands, the end
        No safety or surprise, the end
        I’ll never look into your eyes again

        Can you picture what will be?
        So limitless and free
        Desperately in need
        Of some stranger’s hand
        In a desperate land

          1. Yep. Couldn’t be a better movie song if it was written specifically for that flick.

      2. +1 brain

    2. The phrase is very significant coming from Kim. They’ve been holding on to the past (and for pretty good reason) like a dog with a bone. If he’s being even a little genuine here in his intent, then this is bigger than any of the technical details of the deal.

    3. If history begins today, isnt everything historic?

      1. You might as well ask how much wood a woodchuck can chuck.

        Just walk away.

        1. I once asked one that question.

          Response was “fuck you”.

          Woodchucks ain’t friendly critters.

          1. Surely it said :Chuck you, Farley” as any sane woodchuck would.

  14. “‘Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.’ -Chinese Proverb” tweeted Ivanka Trump yesterday. There’s just one problem…

    Who says Chinese proverbs have to be coined by China-men?

    1. Well, they *are* inscrutable!

    2. Confuscious say, “I didn’t say that.”

      1. Mark Twain, Winston Churchill and Willie Sutton agree.

    3. If it’s written in a fortune cookie, close enough.

    4. Chinamen is not the preferred nomenclature, Dude

  15. Feels like the Reagan presidency is happening all over again. We even have the same stupid, retarded lunatics in the media. Well, it’s the previous generation’s stupid, retarded lunatic kids now, but the idea is the same.

  16. “Domino’s pizza is now branding potholes.”

    They finally found a use for their “pizzas”. Good on them.

  17. The New York City Housing Authority used “elaborate ruses to fool federal inspectors” say federal prosecutors.

    I wouldn’t exactly call claiming the rats are emotional support animals an “elaborate ruse”, but I’ll bet it really doesn’t take much to outwit a federal inspector.

    1. Few of the housing authority workers assigned to deal with lead paint have had any training and many “do not know where the lead paint is.”


    1. Rose “Golden Girls” McGowan?!

      1. Charmed, not GG. Blasphemer.

        1. That show was *horrible*.

          1. Wood

    2. So they had an “open” relationship, but don’t suggest that such may be a source of pain or just emotionally unsatisfying.

      1. Where is my comment? Anyways, glasses are for pussies.

    3. There is way too much attention being paid to the suicide of one dude.

      1. CNN was Anthony all weekend long. it was tedious sucking up to a dead man who didn’t have the courage to live life

        1. If we say he is the best of CNN, what are we saying?

    1. “You just stepped on it for the last time!”

    2. Then he’s acting in the wrong kinds of films.

    3. Break a leg, kid.

    4. Long “torso”, eh?

  18. “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.”



    1. Is that a direct quote from Justin Trudeau or something?

      1. They interviewed his eyebrow.

        1. It’s fucking ridiculous.

          North Korea committing to denuclearization is a good thing, I guess. But ENB was expecting something more from the summit?


          1. North Korea has definitely never agreed to denuclearization before.

            1. No one reasonably expected more than what we got, and what we got was as good as could be reasonably expected.

              When Nixon broke the ice with China, they agreed to pursue peace. Cautious optimism is warranted.

              Hard to believe ENB came out wading in horseshit.

              1. >more than we got

                What did you get? NK saying “yea, yea, nukes are bad n’stuff..” is what you got.

                1. We got a commitment from the North to denuclearize.

                  If you think a refusal to denuclearize is undesirable, then a commitment to denuclearize is worth something.

                  Our relationship with China started with less. Because we got a commitment from them to denuclearize, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic.

          2. I just read the whole thing again and I don’t get any sense that ENB is taking any kind of dim view of the results of the meeting. Just reporting on what people are saying about it. And it is quite possible that Kim is all talk. I certainly hope something comes of this, but nothing has actually happened yet.

            1. Yes. Everyone is jumping ahead here

            2. “Just reporting on what people are saying about it.”

              Who saying that Trump is in it for the real estate development deal–“many people”?

              Why are we bringing up such a retarded take anyway.

              Truthers and Birthers made more sense than this–and speculating about how much North Korea would improve with some capitalist investment is the job of libertarians. There Trump is making what amounts to a libertarian argument for peace and trade, and we’re talking about how “many people” think it might be about him wanting to do real estate deals with Kim?!

              That’s fucking retarded. It’s (fucking retarded)^3 on an ostensibly libertarian website.

              1. TDS is a helluva drug, Ken.

                Rule #1 of the Trump Presidency:

                Trump can do nothing good.

              2. Have you ever read the Morning WhateverItsCalledNow before? It always includes reports of what the idiots are saying on Twitter. And I don’t see anything about anyone saying that Trump is in it for the development deal.

                Take a step back, Ken. You are reading way too much into a post which is explicitly a roundup of what’s happening in the news and commentary of the day.

          3. *sigh*

            Kim commits to things with the same level of stick-to-it-iveness of Trump. ie, he’ll say anything his audience wants to hear.

            Granted, the only difference between them and other politicians is that other politicians make at least a token effort to ensure that their differing stances and policies don’t get to the ear of other groups who want different things. These guys don’t care.

            To be honest, they ought to get on like a house fire. Other than the whole ‘I’ve murdered more women than you’ve fucked’ thing, they’re much the same sort.

            1. So you think Trump wants to nationalize all industries and install a family line of unrestricted nobility based on military rule of the United States?

              That’s a curious opinion to have.

              1. I think he is talking more about style than policy substance.

            2. Dennis Rodman gets it. Many others get it. Many don’t.

              (To be honest, your last remark borders on the absurd, since the last US president publicly bragged about his prowess at killing, rather than fucking.)

  19. “The Trump Doctrine is, ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

    And it’s a juggernaut.

  20. NXIVM founder Keith Raniere’s lawyers say the FBI “cherrypicked” texts between him and actress Allison Mack for the feds’ sex-trafficking case against them.

    Sounds like they needed context messages.

  21. “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.”

    Am I to take it that in bubble-world, a U.S. president speculating about the desirability of North Korea from a capitalist development perspective is a bad thing?

    . . . in your mind, is that suggestive that Trump is into the North Korean peace game for the filthy lucre?

    Is that what they’re saying on whatever passes for JournoList these days?

    Did you come up with that all by yourself?

    1. No, it’s suggestive that he’s completely blind to human rights abuses and the living situation of the average North Korean.

      1. You know who else is blind to human rights abuses and living conditions of the average North Korean?

        1. Trump’s new bff?

          1. I’ll take things not said by Rataxes when President Obama negotiated with Iran and Cuba for $500, Alex

            1. Let me know when you find me saying anything positive about either of those things too.

              1. Must I dig through the comments?

                OK, I’ll be back

      2. “No, it’s suggestive that he’s completely blind to human rights abuses and the living situation of the average North Korean.”

        Donald Trump is the President of the United States. Not the head of UN Development Relief. Not the head of Catholic Charities.

        Donald Trump apparently cares more about the security of the American people than he does about the people of North Korean–and that’s to be expected since he’s the President of the United States and not the President of North Korea.

        Neocons and progressives who care more about the North Koreans than they do the American people, to the point that they would sacrifice what’s best for U.S. security for the benefit of the North Korean people, should go live in North fucking Korea.

        Presidents who care more about the welfare of people in other countries more than they care about the security of the American people are fucking traitors.

        P.S. Nothing was better for the Chinese people than the United States reaching out to the CCP–in spite of how badly the CCP was treating political prisoners. It shouldn’t be surprising to find that everyone pursuing their own best interests tends to work out well for all parties–not to libertarians anyway–since you know, Adam Smith.

        1. It’s Hail Retaxes. Clearly their opinion is that we should go over to North Korea and work their shit out for them with some missiles. I mean, that’s ‘doing something’ about all those people Un is murdering after all.

          Frankly I’d agree that Un is a murdering bastard, but since it seems if we do anything against them we also must fight China…well I’m not sure how ignoring the problem is superior to trying diplomacy since ignoring the problem has resulted in a nuclear armed state that gives no fucks about human rights.

          Maybe, one day, Reason authors will acknowledge that maybe some of those tariffs were justified to encourage China to yank on Un’s leash but I doubt it. Reason authors just think tariffs are taxes, which isn’t wrong but it’s so simplistic that it really highlights the authors around here as the shallowest of shallow thinkers.

          1. Just for the record, I have consistently disagreed with Trump’s use of tariffs to pressure the Chinese into supporting us with North Korea.

            I’ve consistently said it was wrong, and I’ve consistently said I hope I’m wrong about that.

            Just because I don’t like what Trump is doing doesn’t mean I have to pretend he isn’t doing it.

            I remember people accusing me of “reading the tea leaves”. They’ve been all but discussing it in the open for months.

            It’s TDS. It’s TDS + a lack of intellectual honesty. If they wren’t so intellectually dishonest, they wouldn’t have missed the big picture so completely for so long. Just yesterday, Boehm had a piece up talking about Trump’s reaction to something that was all about his pending meeting with North Korea–and North Korea wasn’t even mentioned once. Is that TDS? Is it intellectual dishonesty?

            I don’t know. How’s anybody supposed to tell the difference after so long?

            And which one is worse, being an intellectually honest but completely oblivious to the point of being an ignoramus or being intellectually dishonest?

    2. This is pretty brilliant.
      People keep asking, what is Trump going to give Kim in exchange?
      This has always been the plan. He’s giving him an all access pass to the 21st century.

      1. Stock certificates?

    3. It’s just another version of “how unseemly! get me my fainting couch!”

    4. Whom are you addressing?

  22. “Permanent destabilization creates American advantage.”
    A milder version of Hank Kissinger’s dissertation, which asserted that America benefited from, needed, war in the world.
    Same as it ever was, war is the health of the state.

  23. “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.”

    Who exactly are these “many”.

    They’re fucking retards whomever they are.

    1. Robert Mueller needs to expand his investigation into whatever it was Trump and the North Koreans talked about during the summit!!!

      Is Tony even that stupid?

      1. Maybe a prostitute in a Thai jail has the goods on the nefarious plot being developed between the Russians, North Koreans, and Trump.

        Hey, I’m a “reporter” now!

        1. Congrats! Please pick up your Pulitzer on the way out.

    2. The usual suspects for mindless caterwauling over people they congenitally disapprove of, I expect.

      1. Either that or ENB made it up.

        1. Oh, I’m sure she follows Twitter and that many people are in fact freaking out on Twitter. You can rely on that when Trump does anything.

          1. We all need to remind ourselves that Twitter isn’t real life. Only a small percentage of Americans are on the platform and the percentage that use it solely to argue about politics is even smaller

            1. But Norm and IowaHawk are on there. So I accept it.

              1. Good point

            2. Yeah, that’s true.

              The only time I see Twitter is here and when people post links on reasonoids. Which is more than enough for me.

          2. “Many people” is weasel word.

            They don’t teach you to write like that in journalism school.

            Who are these many people?

            Links please.

            1. Here’s Wikipedia’s guide to avoiding weasel words on their articles:


              It has a great graphic on it with a weasel, and the weasel is saying, “Some people think weasel words are great!”

              Seriously, this is like from Journalism 101 class.

              How embarrassing for Reason!

            2. Come down from the ledge, Ken. You’ve got a developer talking as if building condos on pristine beaches is a good thing and you’re suspicious that there aren’t “many people” squawking about Mother Earth and global warming and the evils of capitalism? I’m not going on twitter to check Al Gore’s twitter feed, but I’d bet you a fat dollar it’s an entr?e into the world of “many people”.

              1. Just like it’s true that ‘many people’ believe the Earth is flat. Of course, this is misleading since the ‘many people’ are statistically insignificant meaning the statement doesn’t pass the basic requirements for newsworthiness. Fortunately, Reason isn’t a real news website so they don’t need to follow any of the ethical guidelines.

                Frankly, no publication really gives a shit. The first rule of journalism after graduation is ‘forget everything you learned in journalism school’.

                1. It’s also worth mentioning that this is a blog post. Not an article in the magazine or a syndicated column. It’s a blog post rounding up the news and twitter BS of the day. If you don’t want that, don’t read it because that’s what it is. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that on a current events blog.

                  1. That’s some weak sauce, Zeb. Integrity doesn’t take a break for blog posts. Just don’t use weasel words. Easy. The clown nose on, clown nose off thing isn’t much of an excuse.

                    Jerryskids answer was far better, that building on pristine beaches is essentially guaranteed to piss off a lot of “the right people.”

  24. So Trump gave the Norks exactly what they wanted – top billing on the world stage – for absolutely nothing. As is always the case with Trump, all drama and no substance. I’m sure the verification scheme, if it ever gets remotely close to that point, will be the greatest ever!

  25. This is just adorable watching the people who trashed the Iran deal suddenly hailing the summit with North Korea and vice versa (including the writers here).

    This tweet from Ian Bremmer is surprising, though:…..1225394176

    1. I just try not to have an opinion on foreign policy stuff that doesn’t involve fighting actual wars. It’s close to impossible to get enough accurate information to really be informed. I don’t know if the Iran deal was a good thing or not. I don’t know about this one either. But I hope it’s good. If Trump can pull this off, that’s great. Maybe Trump’s particular, um, style is just what this situation needed. Or maybe Denis Rodman is secretly saving the world. Who the hell knows?

    2. The Iran deal was garbage. Obama lied to get support. Rhodes admits to creating a media echo chamber.

      Whatever comes of the NK summit could be worse or better than the Iran deal. We literally cannot judge it yet. Trump may well deserve a Nobel Peace Prize or we may end up in a war.

      Comparing the Iran deal to whatever comes from this summit is like comparing the 2017-2018 Washington Capitals to the 2018-2019 Washington Capitals. We do not know how to make that comparison yet, so why bother?

      1. As a footnote, we don’t know if Trump will run whatever deal gets made through the Senate yet so we don’t know if he’s as shitty as Obama on this front yet or not. Also, JP88 is correct above. The Iran deal was lied about, long and often, to drum up support for it.

        Bonus points: How is giving a billion plus dollars in cash to a regime that actively funds terrorism against the United States, without even talking to the Senate, not literal treason? Is that not material aid to a foreign adversary?

  26. I can’t help but think of the way Trump negotiated gun control with the Democrats whenever I think about Trump negotiating with NK.

    1. True

  27. Haha — great line by Trump. And I believe him. Unlike foreign policy, he has quite a bit of expertise in real estate.

  28. Pointing out how a dictator could benefit if they, you know, stopped murdering their people left and right, seems like good way to convince them to change.

  29. “‘Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.’ -Chinese Proverb” tweeted Ivanka Trump yesterday. There’s just one problem…

    “The Internet is full of assholes.” -Abraham Lincoln

    1. Maybe the saying is also a secret.

  30. Breaking: Hawaii judge rules against Trump, orders NK to continue its nuclear weapons development.

  31. So, is it possible that the headline: At Nuke Talks, Trump Says North Korea’s Beaches Would Be Great Condo Spots: Reason Roundup followed by Behold the liberating power of commerce. could be seen as a tacit or veiled endorsement of Trump’s approach? A shuffling off of the TDS maybe? I guess I’ll have to wait for the next full-on display of Trump-based cognitive dissonance to confirm.

    1. Didn’t you get to the point about how it might just be about Trump wanting to develop casinos in North Korea?

      1. Doesn’t Mueller’s investigation need to be expanded to include whatever was said between Trump and Kim?

  32. Unpopular opinion: I actually feel bad for Dennis Rodman and think all the people mocking him are being jerks. Also CNN proves once again how big of a joke they are for even having them on but hey, ratings!

    1. The only time I feel bad for Dennis Rodman is when people forget how great of a player he was. He was a mongoose.

      1. I am awaiting, breathlessly, for Michael Avenatti’s opinion on the summit.

  33. Sounds like Donnie is trying to teach Un basic business sense.

    “Hey, Un, you know these beaches are prime real estate. I notice that at the moment you have a bunch of dissidents chained up with a few ditches to dump them into after they keel over, but you know what would actually bring in income for your regime? Condos! Or, hey, maybe a hotel!”

    He’s probably not wrong, but yeesh.

  34. I really have to love the people complaining that Trump isn’t essentially derailing these talks by using them to call out North Korea for their human rights abuses. It’s the same with Trump giving Kim praise and calling him great, etc. These are all common things in diplomacy and politics.

    With or without nuclear weapons, the NK people are going to suffer. The only way to address the human rights crisis is for relations to be normalized and the country opened up (even just a bit).

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