Showing posts with label Korea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Korea. Show all posts

27 April 2018

North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons: The Unfinished Arsenal

In declaring a unilateral freeze in missile testing, North Korea appears ready to settle for now with an imperfect nuclear arms capability, one good enough to stoke fear in the United States but which can’t promise to strike U.S. targets reliably, experts say. North Korea said on Saturday it no longer needed to conduct nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it had reached its weapons development goals, even though U.S. officials and experts do not believe the North’s program is complete. The declaration came ahead of talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Friday. Kim, whose economy is under pressure from international sanctions, is expected to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in late May or early June.

26 April 2018

Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

By ARTHUR HERMAN, April 24, 2018 

The president’s potential meeting with Kim Jong Un would come at a time when American foreign policy is rapidly changing.
The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North Korean threat may have actually paid off — especially when his “speak loudly and wave a big stick” approach to foreign policy is backed by the real use of force, as demonstrated by the recent air strikes in Syria.
How sincere are Kim’s promises? Trump skeptics like to point out that Kim has announced suspensions of his nuclear program before. But Kim made one other concession last week that has gone largely unnoticed but is even more significant for the future: He withdrew his previous demand that U.S. troops leave the Korean peninsula before any discussion of denuclearization. That means any deal struck on shutting down North Korea’s nuclear program may well be separate from the status of U.S. forces in Korea — and America’s strategic role in the region.

Why DoD is starting a new cyber cell on the Korean Peninsula

By: Mark Pomerleau 

The Department of Defense is establishing a new cyber planning cell on the Korean Peninsula to in response to the threat from North Korea. The small team, known as a cyber operations-integrated planning elements (CO-IPE), will help better coordinate offensive and defensive cyber tools with traditional military operations. While U.S. Cyber Command is standing up cyber planning cells locally at all the combatant command headquarters, a Cyber Command spokesman said U.S. Forces Korea is the only sub-unified command with a team. “Given North Korea’s activities, the decision to establish a CO-IPE at the sub-unified level was well-advised,” the spokesman said.

24 April 2018

The Right Way to Coerce North Korea

By Victor Cha and Katrin Fraser Katz

When it comes to North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies have been whiplash inducing. On February 23, he appeared to be gearing up for a conflict when he said that if sanctions against Pyongyang didn’t work, Washington would have to move to “phase two,” which could be “very, very unfortunate for the world.” But just two weeks later, Trump abruptly changed course and accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un—a decision that caught even his own White House and State Department by surprise. 

23 April 2018

Falling Into Old Habits at the 38th Parallel

By Ian Morris

After decades of lamenting the Korean Peninsula's division, South Koreans increasingly regard reunification as unnecessary and undesirable. The split between North and South Korea along the 38th parallel, though seemingly arbitrary, follows approximately the same border that divided the peninsula's northern and southern kingdoms in antiquity. The division reflects the reality of contemporary geopolitics, which suggests that if reunification does happen, it will more likely occur under Beijing's wing than under Washington's. According to legend, a gaggle of junior young men from the U.S. Army and State Department divided Korea, armed with nothing more than a pencil and a wall map from National Geographic magazine. The day after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, with Japan's surrender imminent, they got abrupt orders to split the Korean Peninsula into Soviet and American administrative zones until elections could be held for a new national government. For lack of a better idea, they simply drew a line along the 38th parallel.

22 April 2018

Falling Into Old Habits at the 38th Parallel


After decades of lamenting the Korean Peninsula's division, South Koreans increasingly regard reunification as unnecessary and undesirable. he split between North and South Korea along the 38th parallel, though seemingly arbitrary, follows approximately the same border that divided the peninsula's northern and southern kingdoms in antiquity. he division reflects the reality of contemporary geopolitics, which suggests that if reunification does happen, it will more likely occur under Beijing's wing than under Washington's. 

21 April 2018

America and China duel for influence over North Korea

BY LISA COLLINS

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un met with Chinese president Xi Jinping last week for the first time since coming to power in 2011. Such a meeting between the two leaders would normally be not be surprising since China and North Korea are allies. But these are not normal times. The meeting between Kim and Xi took many experts by surprise because the relationship between Pyongyang and Beijing has been tense for some time. Since Kim came to power, there have been fewer high-level exchanges between Chinese and North Korean officials, and reports indicate that bilateral trade significantly decreased in recent months.

19 April 2018

The Other North Korea Question: How Important is the Korean Peninsula to the US?

By Sam Roggeveen

America’s leadership in the Asia Pacific was founded in the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and on its status as the first atomic power. Nuclear weapons thereafter defined Asian geopolitics. Today, on the Korean Peninsula, nuclear technology is again set to feature in a dramatic shift in Asia’s power balance. With a summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now in prospect, future historians may come to see North Korea’s nuclear-armed ballistic missiles as the trigger that unravels America’s strategic leadership of Asia.

17 April 2018

U.S. HAS A NEW PLAN TO FIGHT NORTH KOREA: SHOOT DOWN KIM JONG UN'S MISSILES AS THEY LAUNCH, BUT CAN IT WORK?

BY CRISTINA MAZA 

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told Congress Thursday that the U.S. military is developing the technology to shoot down North Korean missiles as they take off. Arms experts say the technology would greatly improve the U.S.'s ability to fend off a nuclear attack from North Korea, but it probably won't be ready for another 10 to 15 years.“What [Mattis] is referring to is boost phase directed energy, so the idea is to have a laser on a drone, have the drones hovering in international airspace, and then once a missile is launched we zap it with a laser,” Matthew Kroenig, an expert on national security and arms control at the Atlantic Council, told Newsweek.

12 April 2018

Here's What's Actually Different About The Latest North Korea Talks


The saying goes that the more things change, the more they stay the same. On the Korean Peninsula, the reverse seems to be true: The more things stay the same, the more they change. Six months ago, the discussion about the peninsula was whether it could avoid unilateral U.S. military action to stem North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Today the conversation has turned to whether Pyongyang's current diplomatic offensive offers hope for a nonmilitary resolution to the conflict, a lingering holdout from the Cold War, or whether it's just another of North Korea's attempts to buy time to secure the government with a viable nuclear deterrent. Having studied North Korea and the issues surrounding the peninsula for more than two decades, I am torn between optimism (however thin) that real change may finally be in the offing and the natural pessimism that derives from experience.

11 April 2018

Here's What's Actually Different About the Latest North Korea Talks

By Rodger Baker

Their impending dialogue notwithstanding, mistrust between the United States and North Korea still runs deep. But the new generation of North Korean leaders, the unique political profile of U.S. President Donald Trump and the advanced state of Pyongyang's nuclear program leave an opportunity (however slim) for a different outcome. Otherwise, the two sides could find themselves back on track toward containment or even U.S. military action. The saying goes that the more things change, the more they stay the same. On the Korean Peninsula, the reverse seems to be true: The more things stay the same, the more they change. Six months ago, the discussion about the peninsula was whether it could avoid unilateral U.S. military action to stem North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Today the conversation has turned to whether Pyongyang's current diplomatic offensive offers hope for a nonmilitary resolution to the conflict, a lingering holdout from the Cold War, or whether it's just another of North Korea's attempts to buy time to secure the government with a viable nuclear deterrent. Having studied North Korea and the issues surrounding the peninsula for more than two decades, I am torn between optimism (however thin) that real change may finally be in the offing and the natural pessimism that derives from experience.

8 April 2018

China Re-Enters the Korean Field of Play


Through a top-level meeting with North Korea, China is signaling it will not be a bystander in the evolving dynamics on the Korean Peninsula. China may have an opening to restore its long-frosty relations with South Korea by extending outreach on trade measures. Both North Korea and South Korea have an interest in including China to some extent in their evolving diplomatic dynamic.

What Trump Wants From North Korea

By Joseph Bosco

U.S. President Donald Trump’s no-nonsense approach to North Korea -- and to its enabler and protector, China -- has caught the attention of the two anxious Communist allies. While the hardest part lies ahead, the president may have moved the world a bit closer to the ultimate goal: peaceful elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons. During the campaign, after his election, and as president, Trump has been consistent on the basics: (1) What was tried for almost three decades by administrations of both parties has not worked; (2) He would pursue new options, including both personal diplomacy and credible threats of force to protect American and allied security interests; 

6 April 2018

China and North Korea: Past, Present, and Future


With international attention focused on a potential U.S.-North Korea summit meeting in May, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a surprise trip to Beijing in late March to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The North Korean leader’s visit to Beijing, his first foreign visit since assuming power in late 2011, came amid strained bilateral relations in recent years. Kim and Xi appear to have reinvigorated the historical bonds between the two countries and reaffirmed China’s crucial role in the future of the Korean Peninsula. This conference will explore the dynamics and tensions of the historical relationship between China and North Korea, the potential impact of Korean reunification on China, and China’s role in a limited military conflict and its aftermath. President Xi Jinping of China, left, and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, inspect an honor guard during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 26, 2018. (Korean Central News Agency via The New York Times)

5 April 2018

What we know—and don’t—about the meeting between Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping

Ryan Hass

Many questions remain unanswered about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to China from March 25 to 28. For example, did Xi Jinping and Kim reach any private understandings on loosening pressure and supporting North Korea’s economic development? Did Xi counsel Kim on how to deal with President Trump and, if so, what advice did he provide? Did the two sides reach any shared view on a sequence of steps for lowering tensions on the Korean Peninsula?

4 April 2018

Why Kim Jong Un Went to China

By Evan Osnos

As a signpost along the course of history, there is no ritual more pregnant with uncertainty than the handshake portrait. At some points, it has proved to be a marker of renewal: Robert E. Lee surrendering to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, in 1865. At others, it has been the prelude to disaster: a smiling Neville Chamberlain extending his hand to Adolf Hitler, in 1938. The medium and the wardrobe change, but the essential dynamic stays the same: powerful, sometimes villainous, figures balancing the weight of self-interest, dignity, and mutual suspicion. When the history of Asia in the twenty-first century is written, the portrait of Kim Jong Un’s surprise encounter with Xi Jinping this week may take its place in the pantheon. Kim had not left the country or met with another head of state since coming to power, more than six years ago. Despite relying on China for trade and weapons, he had flouted Beijing’s entreaties to drop his nuclear program and had even gone so far as to test missiles on days when Xi was trying to host solemn occasions, a gesture that seemed either calculated or unconcerned with Xi’s embarrassment.

3 April 2018

The View From Olympus: Danger Ahead?

Source Link

President Trump’s acceptance of North Korea’s request for a summit meeting was exactly right. Summits have their risks, but far better the risks of a summit than the risk of another Korean war. But if the Korean situation now appears to be moving the right way, our position on Iran may be doing the opposite. I do not know why President Trump has such a dislike for Iran. Iran is leading the Shiites in their war with the Sunnis, but what is that to us? Our only interest in that war is that they kill each other in the largest numbers possible, so there are fewer of both to fight us. If the President withdraws the United States from the deal that halted the Iranian nuclear program for a time, as he threatens to do and as the new Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo, may encourage him to do, our position is likely to worsen, not improve. The other major power signatories to the agreement will not withdraw. If the Iranians are smart, they will also continue to adhere to the deal. The effect will be to isolate the United States and put Iran in the morally advantageous “victim” position.

2 April 2018

Is Kim Jong Un Making a Visit to China?


Amid a diplomatic outreach between North Korea and other regional powers, the arrival of a North Korean train in the Chinese capital signals that Beijing is probably preparing to reach out to Pyongyang itself — perhaps through a meeting with Kim Jong Un. Ahead of its likely summits with the United States and South Korea, North Korea may try to use its position of strength to gain more equal footing with China in their relationship.
Because any lasting diplomatic solution to the North Korean crisis will have to include China, Pyongyang will not be able to sideline Beijing entirely in its negotiations.

1 April 2018

Kim Jong Un May Be in China. What Does That Mean for Trump?

Gordon G. Chang

The Nikkei Asian Review states that a dignitary rode in a convoy to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and additional guards were posted at the Great Hall of the People, which is where Chinese leaders traditionally meet their counterparts. BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonell, among others, has been tweeting about the commotion in the Chinese capital surrounding the surprise visit. If Kim was on the train—and there is no confirmation as of yet from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs—then it would be his first known trip outside of North Korea since assuming power in December 2011. Robert Collins, a veteran Pentagon advisor who has worked with U.S. Forces Korea, speculated in comments to the National Interest that if Kim was not on the train, then China’s high-profile visitor might instead be Kim’s increasingly prominent sister, Kim Yo-jong.

31 March 2018

Why Did Kim Jong Un Just Visit China?

ANKIT PANDA

For months, China seemed to be a side player as relations improved between North Korea and South Korea. Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, kicked off the year with an address celebrating the completion of his nuclear deterrent after months of boasting about his increasing nuclear capability. In his speech, he also expressed interest in North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics. That, in turn, provided Moon Jae In, the president of South Korea, with the diplomatic opening he sought. What followed: an exchange of conciliatory gestures at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, which set the stage for a meeting in Pyongyang between Kim and a team of South Korean envoys. Those same envoys then presented an invitation from Kim to meet with President Donald Trump, who had threatened North Korea’s total destruction; Trump immediately accepted. Seoul, it seemed, was in control of the fate of the Korean Peninsula.