North Korea has blown up the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong. It is threatening an all-out pamphlet war in response to defectors sending anti-regime propaganda to the north. South Korea’s unification minister has stepped down after failing to meet with his North Korean counterparts during his 14-month tenure. Pyongyang is not happy about the balloons… Continue reading Time to Rethink the US-ROK Alliance
The current pandemic has led to the postponement of elections around the world. Over 75 countries have declared some kind of state of emergency. Several illiberal leaders, like Viktor Orban, have used the crisis to seize virtually unlimited powers. The Chinese model of full-spectrum clampdown has elicited praise across the political spectrum for its apparent… Continue reading A Progressive Victory over the Coronavirus
The second meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un is scheduled for next month. The most likely location will be Vietnam. The agenda is much the same as before: how to get North Korea to denuclearize and the United States to dismantle its sanctions regime. The question remains: which side will make the first substantial… Continue reading The Next US-North Korean Summit
Remarkable changes are taking place on the Korean peninsula. The two Koreas are actually starting to demilitarize the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Just in the last couple weeks, they have taken down 22 guard posts, demined the Joint Security Area, and established a no-fly-zone about the peninsula’s dividing line. They’ve pulled back from confrontation along their… Continue reading Is Korea’s Cold War About to End?
Nuclear weapons have held the world hostage for more than 70 years. Although they possess terrifying power and the world has come close to nuclear war on several occasions, these weapons have only been used twice, in 1945, by the United States against Japan. Advocates of deterrence believe that nuclear weapons actually kept the peace… Continue reading North Korea: Nukes vs. War?
In geopolitics, everything is impossible — until, suddenly, it isn‘t. Wars that no one ever believed could happen flare into existence, and stable societies descend into chaos. On the other side of spectrum, peace agreements that only Pollyannas thought possible are suddenly on the table after months of secret talks, as wicked problems untangle themselves… Continue reading Korea and the Geopolitics of Impossible
In talks this week at the DMZ, South Korea welcomed the participation of North Korea in the upcoming Winter Olympics. The two countries also discussed restarting reunions of divided families and reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Earlier, both sides reestablished their hotline. All of this adult conversation is a welcome change from the war… Continue reading Walking Back War in Korea
There’s been precious little good news from Asia these days. Washington and Pyongyang continue to trade threats of war. Right-wing nationalist Shinzo Abe won reelection as prime minister in Japan last month. Major storms have hammered several countries in the region, most recently Typhoon Damrey in Vietnam. And now, in the wake of those typhoons… Continue reading Building On The Good News From Asia
The United States has beaten its head against the wall of North Korea for more than 70 years, and that wall has changed little indeed as a result. The United States, meanwhile, has suffered one headache after another. Over the last several weeks, the head banging has intensified. North Korea has tested a couple of possible intercontinental… Continue reading Trump and the Geopolitics of Crazy
North Korea is not a tourist destination that I generally recommend for Americans. South Koreans have special reasons to visit the country – to see members of their divided families, to visit legendary places like Mt. Paektu, to experience an alternative Korean reality. Chinese tourists visit North Korea to get a taste of their own… Continue reading Honoring Otto Warmbier