Six components of Tillerson's Asia trip require careful reading: his assurances to allies; “20 years of failure”; sanctions; military options; negotiations; and the all-important China audience of one, Xi Jinping.
Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; director, Korea-Pacific Program; and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. He works on the political economy of developing countries, with a particular interest in Asia and the Korean peninsula. Along with Marcus Noland, he runs the Witness to Transformation blog on the Korean peninsula at http://blogs.piie.com/nk.
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Response to the most recent provocations from Pyongyang will center as much on the U.S.-China relationship as they do on North and South Korea.
A look at three key issues in North Korea's latest missile test: the relationship of the satellite test to the missile and nuclear programs; the question of North Korean motives, which appear increasingly inward-looking and solipsistic; and the perennial “what is to be done” question, centering almost entirely on what to expect of China.
Seoul awoke yesterday to news of the agreement reached early in the morning between North and South Korea to calm down the current tensions.
In his speech before Congress the other day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following comparison between the Iranian nuclear program and the North Korean path to nuclear weapons:
Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn't stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.