Red Line Blues: North Korea, Iran and Syria

From the Levant and the Persian Gulf to the Korean peninsula, events in recent weeks have offered a clinic in the difficulty of enforcing red lines on rogue regimes and their weapons of mass destruction, as well as how US credibility suffers when presidents continue to stake out red lines they ultimately are not prepared…

End Game for the Korean Peninsula

Over the last month the media has led the world to believe that North Korea, the United States and South Korea are standing eyeball to eyeball on the brink of war. Secretary Kerry's comments after meeting with his Chinese opposites State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and Foreign Minister Yang Yi, and later President Xi Jinping, and…

Is a New Stage Coming for the Koreas?

The nuclear crisis barometer on the Korean peninsula has risen and fallen numerous times during the 20 years since North Korea announced its withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty on March 12, 1993. However, while some fear that North Korea and South Korea-US are like trains on course for a head-on collision, it seems probable…

Xi Jinping’s First Great Test

In Washington, D.C. today, the White House was taken over by North Korean terrorists. With the help of a rogue Secret Service agent, the President and his senior advisors have been taken hostage. The terrorists' leader, blaming the US for his parents' death during the Korean War, intends to obtain the launch codes for America's…

Opinion: Was Kerry’s China Trip to Save Face?

In his first trip to the region after becoming US Secretary of State and after a whistle stop in South Korea John Kerry flew into Beijing to meet with China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday. The BBC reports about this meeting appear to be written in a manner to…

Pyongyang’s Race Against the Clock

From a deteriorating humanitarian situation to the frightening possibility of Kim Jong-Un losing control of his military, there are a number of reasons why North Korea might raise the specter of war. So alarming have been Prongyang's actions that even China, a close supporter of the country, has urged North Korea to de-escalate the situation.…

Obama’s Korean Game Strategy

North Korea is depicted as an irrational provocateur and aggressor in the escalation of threats and military maneuvers over the Korean Peninsula, and of course the regime's rhetoric is being used as proof of the intention to wage war. However, looking at events from a North Korean perspective, what is going on now can also…

North Korea and the Goblet of Fire

North Korea looks perilously close to reliving ugly history, the nightmare that came true in the spring of 1994, a year that people now call the 'North Korean Sea of Fire: Part One.' Given the astonishingly inflammatory language that came out of Pyongyang in recent days, with threats to use nuclear weapons against the United…

Wrong-Headed Condemnation of North Korea

Let us welcome the North Korean nuclear test. The outpouring of outrage from around the world, most of all from the US but also the broader United Nations, is the height of hypocrisy. The kneejerk response makes no effort to understand why the nuclear test is good for reform in that self-benighted country. The current…

Time to Get Tough on North Korea

Fundamental debates and challenges arise in periods of transition, such as the current leadership changes in South Korea, Japan and China. So it is with the North Korean nuclear threat. Pyongyang warned on January 25 that it would conduct a high-level nuclear test targeted at the United States. While few people believe North Korea could…