Trump’s Next Move on North Korea

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, he even broached the subject of a World War III started by the...
read more

What’s Next with 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 North Korea’s national security – as...
read more

Trump’s Investment in 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 has made such a huge investment in you that it can’t let you fail. Your success becomes the bank’s...
read more

The Real Obstacle to Peace between Pyongyang and Washington

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 article in the Wall Street Journal urging the United...
read more

The Korean Shell Game

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 ears — about himself, his deals, his girlfriends. He...
read more

Playing Trump for Peace

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 nuclear deal, reversing détente with Cuba....
read more