Donald Trump loves to talk about war. Last year, Trump was ready to invade Venezuela, until calmer heads in his inner circle persuaded him that it wasn’t a good idea. He has recently escalated his threats against Iran, and his secretary of state has explicitly endorsed regime change there. After his meeting with NATO leaders,… Continue reading Trump’s Next Move on North Korea
The Trump administration wants North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons by 2020 after which it would get sanctions relief. Pyongyang insists on a phased and synchronized approach with incentives and concessions along the way. On paper, these are not entirely incompatible approaches. In reality, however, nuclear weapons occupy too important a place in… Continue reading What’s Next with North Korea?
Donald Trump loves to tell the following story. You go to a bank and borrow $3 million. If you can’t pay it back, you have a problem. But say you go to a bank and borrow $300 million. Then, if you can’t pay it back, both you and the bank have a problem. In other words, the bank… Continue reading Trump’s Investment in North Korea
If the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un doesn’t happen, it’s easy to finger the culprit. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who started in his position after the U.S. president agreed to meet with the North Korean leader, has never concealed his desire to effect regime change in Pyongyang. In February, he published an… Continue reading The Real Obstacle to Peace between Pyongyang and Washington
Conmen always keep up a patter. While they’re extracting the wallet from your pocket, they maintain a nonstop monologue so that you focus on their mouth and not what they’re doing with their hands. Beware the voluble stranger. Donald Trump has always been a talker. Even before he discovered Twitter, Trump was constantly bending people’s… Continue reading The Korean Shell Game
When, in early March, Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Washington foreign policy elite nearly suffered a collective heart attack. For one thing, the announcement came as a complete surprise. Trump had telegraphed his other foreign policy bombshells well in advance: leaving the Paris climate accord, ripping up the Iran… Continue reading Playing Trump for Peace
For a man with a reputation for venting spleen and flying off the handle, John Bolton bided his time before finally rising to the position of power he now occupies. The former U.S. ambassador to the UN spent much of the last decade consolidating his political base through stints at right-wing institutes like the American Enterprise… Continue reading Thus Begins the Bolton Administration
In South Korea these days, a popular dish at trendy restaurants is budae jjigae—an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink stew full of noodles, red pepper paste, Spam, sausages, kimchi, American cheese, baked beans, tofu, and whatever else the chef might want to throw into the mix. Budae means “battalion” in Korean, which points to the stew’s origins in the Korean War.… Continue reading Left Behind by Korea’s Success
Korean reunification is, for the most part, an ideal rather than a concrete plan. But that hasn’t always been the case. In the 1950s, reunification was a military goal: the forced absorption of one side by the other. Neither side was able to achieve that goal. In the 1960s and 1970s, when the two Koreas… Continue reading What Would Korean Reunification Look Like?
The president giveth and he taketh away. Donald Trump is a stern and wrathful leader. He thinks nothing of raining down fire and fury upon the enemies of his “chosen people.” Indeed, he even flirts with ending the world if he doesn’t receive due respect and the requisite number of burnt offerings. But he can… Continue reading Two-Faced Trump: Peace in Korea, War in the Middle East