The Atlantic Daily: Unearthed and Exposed

The future of the U.S.-South Korea alliance may hinge on faltering North Korean peace talks. Plus rogue satellites, Marti Noxon’s new television shows, and more.

U.S. and South Korean soldiers stand guard in the DMZ. Chung In Moon supports the continued presence of U.S. troops, even if the alliance between the countries dissolves. (Reuters)

What We’re Following

Peace May End an Alliance: Chung In Moon, a special advisor to the South Korean president, said that South Korea may eventually like to see its alliance with the U.S. dissolve in an exclusive interview with Uri Friedman. Moon said that if North Korea agrees to dismantle their nuclear weapons to secure a peace treaty with South Korea and the U.S., the alliance between the latter two is unnecessary; however, he still supports the continued presence of American forces in South Korea if such an accord is adopted. As the potential summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un approaches and the past dramas of Trump’s Korea policy loom large, David Frum writes that in order for the Trump administration to retain respect, they may just have to pretend negotiations are still on track.

Some Tentative Scientific Progress: In a press conference today, Trump’s NASA chief, Jim Bridenstine, supported the scientific consensus that humans are contributing to climate change, apparently marking a departure from his own past stance and the views of the majority of the Trump administration. Beyond earth, the FCC continues its investigation into the first known unauthorized launch of commercial satellites, known as “SpaceBees,” and new private enterprises in Los Angeles are working to reawaken Southern California’s long-dormant spaceport.

Dietary Disagreements: This month, a group at the University of Mississippi Medical Center proposed a pilot study on salt intake in privately funded prisons. While some researchers believe the naturally controlled environment will provide standardized results and help advance dietary science, human-rights organizations say such a study would exploit an already vulnerable population. In another food-related controversy: How did pork turn into a political insult in the U.K., and should it be considered racist?


In this 1975 photo from NASA, a space shuttle model undergoes a wind tunnel test simulating the ionized gases that shuttles encounter when reentering the atmosphere. See more photos of NASA’s specialized wind tunnels.

Evening Read

In our June issue, Sophie Gilbert describes the timely female anger featured in the television producer Marti Noxon’s two new shows:

If a singular thread runs through Noxon’s work, it’s the assertion that women can be just as complex as men—that they can make catastrophic decisions, put themselves in danger, damage others, and (more frequently) damage themselves. And that on-screen, these stories are no less compelling, no less illuminating, than tales of difficult men making meth or metaphorically tumbling from Madison Avenue skyscrapers. The past few years have seen more and more female creators bringing complex women to the small screen. Angry women are at a premium now, their darkest, most humiliating moments having been so publicly unearthed and exposed in one form or another. There’s just so much to be angry about.

Keep reading, as Sophie explains how Noxon’s life and career prepared her for the present cultural moment.

What Do You Know … About Global Affairs?

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) established by the philanthropist George Soros moved its headquarters out of Hungary on Tuesday, after the country’s right-wing prime minister, Viktor Orbán, promised to crack down on the OSF’s migration work with a “Stop Soros” law. The proposed law would be one of several restrictions Orbán has placed on civil society—a move toward authoritarianism that the European Union has little power to stop. Meanwhile in France, grassroots-fueled political movement that Emmanuel Macron created to uproot the French political establishment is struggling to redefine itself now that Macron is president and the movement’s leaders support him in office.

Can you remember the other key facts from this week’s global coverage? Test your knowledge below:

1. On May 10, President Trump announced a plan to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. The Russian television series ____________ was modeled after the FX spy drama The Americans.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. While Sweden’s moves toward going cashless have reduced bank robberies, the country has seen an increase in other types of crimes, including an attempt to steal designer handbags with a ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Urban Developments

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Gracie McKenzie shares today’s top stories:

“There is no greater crisis that, at least in my lifetime, has ever faced our country and not been talked about.” A wave of new advocacy groups have emerged around a single message: We really have to talk about housing affordability.

Free public transit plans seem to be coming like buses: You wait ages for one, then several arrive at once. Paris is launching a study to explore the possibility. But there’s an arguably bigger scheme in the works, and it’s far more concrete.

The American Dream turns on where we live. But a new study suggests it’s job markets and marriage partners—not schools—that make the biggest difference in who climbs the economic ladder.

For more updates from the urban world, subscribe to one of CityLab’s newsletters.

Reader Response

In our April cover story, Michael Gerson reviewed the political contributions of evangelicals throughout American history and explored why many came to support President Donald Trump despite his frequent deviation from traditional religious values. Peter M. Leschak remembered another ignoble period for a segment of the American evangelical community:

I appreciated Michael Gerson’s thoughtful and well-crafted essay about evangelicals and Trump. However, the history he sketched featured a glaring omission. It’s true that before the Civil War, Northern evangelicals created and sustained the abolitionist movement, but it is also true that Southern evangelicals employed the Bible and their pulpits to not only justify slavery, but also advocate for the spread of that evil to the newly acquired western territories. It seems to me that defending and excusing Trump is consistent with the behavior of the Southern antebellum evangelicals, and to label it hypocrisy—while certainly correct—is far too mild.

Read more responses to Gerson’s article, and share your own thoughts with us at


Open floor plans, 40-something moms, imperiled salt ponds, contextualized discography.

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Dave’s wife, Gale (twice the age of Macintosh computers); to Donna (a year younger than Disneyland); to Ruth’s son Joshua (a year younger than hip-hop records); to Pat’s “biggest fan,” Jenni (the same age as Target); and to Kelly’s mom, Vicki (a year younger than universal credit cards).

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