Stalemate. North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un is not interested in negotiating an end to his country’s nuclear and missile programs, a top Pentagon intelligence official said on Thursday. Kim’s goal is to convince the United States that continued sanctions are futile, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, plans to tell the Senate Armed Services Committee later today. Kim hopes that once the United States gives up on sanctions, leverage in the negotiations will swing in North Korea’s favor, Flynn said in a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. This standoff could last a while. Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee the United States would not negotiate unless North Korea provides a roadmap for denuclearization.
Fleeing justice. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf fled a courtroom on Thursday after judges ordered his arrest. They want him to answer allegations he committed treason in 2007, when he fired the country’s chief justice and placed his colleagues under house arrest. Musharraf returned to Pakistan earlier this year from self-imposed exile in London and Dubai in hopes of standing for election to the country’s National Assembly. After he fled the courthouse, Musharraf holed up at a farm in an exclusive residential estate on the outskirts of Islamabad. Police set up a cordon restricting access to the area, leading to speculation they intended to arrest the former leader.
Missing missionary. The family of an American missionary working in West Africa is trying to figure out what happened to him after his plane lost contact with an air traffic control tower during a tropical storm. Jerry Krause’s daughter claims officials in Sao Tome, an island just off the coast of Gabon, waited 24 hours before reporting her father missing. Krause, from Minnesota, was flying to the island when he lost contact with the tower as he neared the airport on April 7.
Economic indicators. The nation’s leading economic index (LEI) fell in March, fueling fears the economy is slowing down. The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and troughs. The LEI rose 0.5 percent in February and economists expected it to rise 0.2 percent in March. Instead, it fell 0.1 percent. But the March dip could just be an anomaly: During the last six months, including March, the LEI rose 1.6 percent. It gained only 0.1 percent during the previous six months.