Summit, back on?; Israel, Gaza fighters exchange heavy fire; US, Chinese warships go eye-to-eye; FBI to you: reset your router; and just a bit more...

Let’s call the whole thing…back on? North Korean officials are headed to New York City for a visit Wednesday with U.S. officials, Reuters reports, as all parties seem intent on making the June 12 summit between the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. actually happen.

In transit: “Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, was scheduled to fly to the United States on Wednesday after speaking to Chinese officials in Beijing,” Reuters writes.

Who is this guy? “Kim is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party’s central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations,” the Associated Press reports after spotting Kim at a Beijing airport this morning. And BBC has a mini-explainer on Kim Yong Chol, here.

Kim’s appearance in New York “would mark the highest-level North Korean official visit since 2000, when late National Defense Commission First Vice Chairman Jo Myong Rok visited Washington,” AP writes, citing South Korea’s Unification Ministry.

And on Saturday, the leaders of North and South Korea met “on the northern side of the demilitarized zone” to try to save the June 12 summit, the Washington Post reported separately. "North Korea’s state media reported after the meeting that Kim expressed his 'fixed will' for a 'historic' summit between North Korea and the United States. Kim and Moon also agreed on Saturday to hold high-level talks on June 1 and to 'meet frequently in the future,' both countries said."

Still unclear from that meeting: What anybody really means by “denuclearizing” North Korea. A bit more on that from WaPo, here.

Now Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe wants some time alone with President Trump ahead of the (tentative) June 12 summit, the Washington Post reported Monday. Possible dates for that “could come on the sidelines of the Group of 7 economic summit in Quebec on June 8-9, but it is also possible that Abe will swing by Washington en route to that conference,” a Japanese official said.

Meantime, the groundwork continues for Singapore: “White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel [are] in Singapore to coordinate logistics” for the possible Singapore summit, the Washington Post reminded readers in that above report.  

All that activity means new U.S.-imposed sanctions on Pyongyang are on hold. “The White House was prepared to announce the ramped-up sanctions regime Tuesday but decided Monday to indefinitely delay the measures while talks with North Korea about the summit proceed,” The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

Disarming North Korea of its nuclear weapons could take up to 15 years, “Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, and now a Stanford professor,” tells The New York Times. “The disarmament steps and timetable are laid out in a new report, circulated recently in Washington, that Dr. Hecker compiled with two colleagues at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation,” the Times’ William J. Broad and David E. Sanger write.

How’s that? The Stanford team “sees three overlapping phases of denuclearization activity that, in total, would take 10 years. The initial phase, taking up to a year, is the halt of military, industrial and personnel operations. The second, taking up to five years, is the winding down of sites, facilities and weapons. The final and hardest phase, taking up to 10 years, is the elimination or limiting of factories and programs.”

Said Hecker: “We’re talking about dozens of sites, hundreds of buildings, and thousands of people.” Read on, here.

From Defense One

Remembering The Ones Memorial Day Honors // James Lindsay: Here are stories of five who received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for bravery, for making the ultimate sacrifice.

Special Operations Forces Are Changing Combat Medicine With Jury-Rigged Hospitals and Freeze-Dried Blood // Patrick Tucker: Fighting that takes place far from friendly hospitals is driving experimental techniques that may one day see wide adoption by the Pentagon

What Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Don't Know About Their Own Standoff // George Perkovich, via The Atlantic: If the Cuban Missile Crisis is any indication, today's leaders may be dangerously misinformed about the nuclear crisis.

How to Bring the US-NK Rollercoaster Back to Earth // GWU’s Sharon Squassoni: It starts with a sober assessment of what's possible. Not on that list: Pyongyang somehow forgetting how to make nukes.

What the Long, Corruption-Enabling, Mostly Failed Afghanistan-Stabilization Effort Tells Us // Caroline Houck: It's about managing expectations: ours about the timeline, the foreign population's about governance.

Here's How the USAF Is Using Its New Purchasing Power // Marcus Weisgerber: This week, program heads will meet at the Pentagon to brief the service's new acquisition board of directors.

Senate Defense Bill Aims to Scrub Cyber Adversaries from U.S. Military Tech // Nextgov’s Joseph Marks: The bill would require companies to disclose if they'd shared source code with foreign governments.

Defense One Radio, Episode 5: Q&A with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson; UAE, Iran, and the war in Yemen, plus more. // Defense One Staff: Welcome to the fifth episode of our podcast about the news, strategy, tech, and business trends defining the future of national security.

Welcome to this Tuesday edition of The D Brief by Ben Watson and Bradley Peniston. And if you find this useful, consider forwarding it to a friend or colleague. They can subscribe here for free. OTD1932: The Bonus Army begins to gather in Washington, D.C.

Israel pounds Gaza targets after taking rocket fire. Haaretz: “The Israeli air force struck over 30 targets in Gaza in response to two rocket barrages fired toward southern Israeli communities Tuesday. The first consisted of 28 mortar rounds, the second of “several projectiles” including at least one rocket. “Most of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and no injuries were reported.” More, here.
Today’s strikes, mapped. Here’s the Live Universal Awareness Map of the developing battle, compiled from open sources by Liveuamap.

The U.S. and Chinese navies “confronted” each other on Sunday in the South China Sea. There, two American warships — Antietam (CG-54) and the Higgins (DDG-76) — were “warned off” by Chinese naval ships and aircraft, NBC News reported this weekend.
The confrontation occurred near the disputed Paracel Islands, where the U.S. ships had been conducting a freedom of navigation operation — a mission China's defense ministry said "undermined strategic mutual trust between the two militaries and damaged peace, security and good order in relevant waters."
Also patrolling the waters of the 7th Fleet this week: Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and its strike group departed Yokosuka, Japan, for operations “supporting security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” the U.S. Navy announced. Stars and Stripes has that one, here.
For what it’s worth: China’s navy pilots just completed “their first nighttime takeoffs and landings” off their Liaoning carrier, the Associated Press relayed this past weekend from Beijing.

“Terrorist” attack in Belgium leaves two policewomen and a bystander dead before the attacker — initially wielding a knife before taking a gun from police — was shot dead by other police in the city of Liege. Reuters rolls up the pertinent details, here.

Poland is offering to pay $2 billion to host a permanent U.S. military base, Politico reported this weekend off of a local report from Polish news portal Onet. The source doc is called a “Proposal for a U.S. Permanent Presence in Poland,” and Polish officials said it is legit and not classified. “The document contains information on the proposed locations of military bases, hospitals — including their capacities — and possible schools or even gyms for the families of personnel. It was delivered to the U.S. government and Congress,” Politico writes.
For the record: “Poland currently hosts U.S. armed forces and NATO units, who are stationed in the country on a rotational basis, moving between Poland and three Baltic states to the north.” A tiny bit more, here.
Kremlin spox Dmitri Peskov is not a fan, calling the measures “expansionist steps” which do "not contribute to security and stability on the continent in any way." More from Reuters or AP.
Oh, and that Ukraine conflict: Kiev’s army appears to be slowly advancing toward separatist-held Horlivka. More from Ukrainian media, here.

And less than a week after an investigation fingered the Russian military for downing Flight MH17 in July 2014 with a BUK missile, Moscow says it will supply BUK missiles to Kazakhstan in 2020. That via state-run TASS, here.   

Symbolic gesture for Af-Pak peace? Kabul's national security adviser, Hanif Atmar, met with Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa "Sunday at Pakistan army's headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi," the AP reported Monday from Islamabad. There, the two officials “agreed to enhance efforts to ensure sustainable peace in the region,” AP writes — with little elaboration.

Back stateside, an urgent request from the FBI: reset your router. Hundreds of thousands of home-office-level internet routers have been infected by malware linked to Russia, the FBI said Saturday, issuing an “urgent request” to owners, reports the New York Times: “The simplest thing to do is reboot the device, which will temporarily disrupt the malware if it is present. Users are also advised to upgrade the device’s firmware and to select a new secure password. If any remote-management settings are in place, the F.B.I. suggests disabling them.” More, here.

POTUS’s very inaccurate Naval Academy speech. “In just 2 minutes he makes at least 6 factual errors,” tweeted Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, after watching the president’s Thursday speech to the graduating midshipmen. A sampler: “The $700B defense budget for FY18 is not the largest ever...The number of ships in the Navy today is not the smallest since the end of WWI...This year's military pay raise is not the first in ten years.” That thread, hereWatch video of the speech or read the transcript.

Arlington National Cemetery is running out of room. “The Army wants to keep Arlington going for at least another 150years, but with no room to grow — the grounds are hemmed in by highways and development — the only way to do so is to significantly tighten the rules for who can be buried there,” The New York Times reported Monday from the hallowed grounds.
On the table: “The strictest proposal the Army is considering would allow burials only for service members killed in action or awarded the military’s highest decoration for heroism, the Medal of Honor. Under those restrictions, Arlington would probably conduct fewer burials in a year than it does right now in a single week.”
Perhaps you’ll give your input. “The Army is conducting a survey of public opinion on the question through the summer, and expects to make formal recommendations in the fall.” Read the rest, here.

And finally today: If Léo Major were American, “there would’ve been a dozen films about him by now,” said the son of the Canadian soldier whose almost unbelievable exploits in World War II were briefly retold for us on Monday by the NYT’s Dan Bilefsky.  
The gist: "A courageous, one-eyed soldier single-handedly liberates a Dutch city during World War II, tricking a German officer into believing the city is surrounded," Bilefsky reported. "Now more than 70 years later, the soldier, Léo Major, a onetime farmer from Montreal, is getting wide recognition in Canada after an hourlong documentary about his life was shown last month on Radio-Canada, the national broadcaster... He is also the subject of a feature film and a biography set to be published in February." Truly worth the click, here.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated CSIS analyst Todd Harrison's organizational affiliation.