Thus Begins the Bolton Administration

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 Institute, media appearances on Fox, and the occasional reckless...
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Left Behind by Korea’s Success

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. The conflict took a...
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What Would Korean Reunification Look Like?

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 were rather similar in political structure, economic development, and cultural attitudes,...
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Two-Faced Trump: Peace in Korea, War in the Middle East

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 also reward his followers, and those who curry his favor, with positions of power...
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Korea and the Geopolitics of Impossible

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 and bitter enemies clasp hands. If...
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How Those Trump-Kim Talks Might Go: A Transcript

In a surprise announcement in early March, President Donald Trump said that he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un within two months. The preparations for the meeting were hampered by the lack of North Korea expertise within the administration, the short-staffed State Department, and the mercurial temperament of the president. The North Korean side complicated matters with its...
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