Japan Under North Korea’s Missiles

Japan Under North Korea’s MissilesJapan awoke Wednesday to television news and civil defense instructions to take cover in secure buildings or underground as a North Korean ballistic missile passed over parts of Hokkaido before landing in open sea. “Missile Passing, Missile Passing,” screamed a public service announcement. Commuters faced train delays even as far away as Tokyo. “All lines…

South Korean Rightists Want Atomic Weapons to Match the North

South Korean Rightists Want Atomic Weapons to Match the NorthSouth Koreans have almost unanimously shrugged off the threat of a holocaust they are sure is not about to happen in the confrontation between the United States and North Korea while rightists are using the crisis to demand that the South go nuclear-- matching the North’s nuclear weapons arsenal with as many or more. Kim…

Astonishing North Korea Policy Change From Tillerson

Astonishing North Korea Policy Change From TillersonThere are times when the utter confusion apparent in Donald Trump’s White House is a cause for relief. One such seems to be the case of North Korea. If one listens to Trump himself one comes away with two possible directions for US policy following the North’s latest testing of long range rockets which could…

US, South Korean Presidents Meet to Confront the Pyongyang Quandary

US, South Korean Presidents Meet to Confront the Pyongyang QuandaryNorth Korean success in test-firing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4 puts the new South Korean government in the difficult position of having to appear tough while still looking for dialogue with its northern rival. With that launch ringing in his ears, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in had already laid the groundwork for…

Vestiges of a Friendship Between North Korea and Cambodia

Vestiges of a Friendship Between North Korea and CambodiaWith its white walls shimmering under the tropical sun and its yellow roof pointing towards the sky, the Angkor Panorama Museum could be an awkward shopping mall stranded on the outskirts of Siem Reap, the provincial city on Tonle Sap, 320 km from the capital Phnom Penh. Instead, it is a brick-and-mortar testament to the…

Russia’s Take on the North Korean Crisis

Russia’s Take on the North Korean CrisisThe current crisis on the Korean Peninsula was unexpected for Russia and raised serious concerns that both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump could recklessly push the situation over the brink. However, the probability of an open military conflict is still low and the pressure to solve the North Korean…

A New Look at North Korea

A New Look at North KoreaThe Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been in the news a lot lately, with the DPRK testing new missiles and the United States moving a naval strike group off the Korean peninsula.  The commentary almost always revolves around strategic issues, especially North Korea’s nuclear program. But in focusing so narrowly on the country’s military and…

Trump’s Meddling in Asia

Trump’s Meddling in AsiaUnited States President Donald Trump’s focus on North Korea is playing into Chinese hands and, by default, further weakening the US position in a Southeast Asia increasingly subject to Chinese carrots and sticks. Trump’s “war” on the North makes little sense either at a time when the South seems about to elect as president Moon…

Tension Ratchets Up on Korean Peninsula

Tension Ratchets Up on Korean PeninsulaDonald Trump and Kim Jong-un are engaged in a game of intimidation and one-upmanship that has China, desperate for stability on the Korean peninsula, warning that tensions could spin out of control. Kim, audaciously pushing the envelope, and Trump, the beneficiary of a tutorial from Chinese President Xi Jinping, may yet escalate from rhetoric to…

Malaysia’s N. Korea Ties Now a Major Embarrassment

Malaysia’s N. Korea Ties Now a Major EmbarrassmentWith the recall of North Korea’s ambassador in the wake of the murder of dictator Kim Jong-un’s elder half-brother, Malaysian authorities may want to rid themselves of a relationship that has blossomed since the two countries opened reciprocal embassies 34 years ago and has become embarrassing to say the least. Kim Jong-nam was allegedly murdered…
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