Trump and the Geopolitics of Crazy

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 ballistic missiles. In response, Donald Trump...
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Isolating the Isolated

North Korea has prided itself over the years on remaining relatively detached from the international community. During the Cold War, for instance, it refused to become a cog in the Soviet trading system that would have relegated it to supplying raw materials to and purchasing finished products from the imperial center. Instead, it remained economically independent and invested in manufacturing...
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Trump: Let’s Make a (Good) Deal

American beef is now available in China — as a result of a deal that Donald Trump made with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. In exchange, Chinese chicken is now available in the United States. Seems like a fair deal — hats off to Trump. Oh, except that there are a few important caveats to the quid pro quo. The chicken can only be cooked. It won’t be labeled as coming from China. And consumers...
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Honoring Otto Warmbier

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 more austere Communist past. Humanitarian workers from a...
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Can South Korea Help Prevent a U.S. Attack on North Korea?

The U.S. media has been full of dire warnings of an imminent U.S. attack on North Korea. Two aircraft carriers are now within firing distance of North Korea. They’re part of a military exercise in the Sea of Japan in which South Korea and the United States are coordinating a drill involving advanced bombers. The Pentagon recently tested a successful anti-missile interceptor, which some...
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Trump’s Next Diplomatic Reversal: North Korea?

Donald Trump recently executed a 180-degree turn on China. He had nothing good to say about the country when he was running for president. Once elected, it looked as though he might even tilt toward Taiwan. But after a tete-a-tete with Chinese premier Xi Jinping, Trump changed his mind and reversed his intention to label China a currency manipulator. “He is a very good man,” Trump said of...
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