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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What Does Kim Jong Un Want?

Virtually every week, politicians and journalists and policy experts attempt the impossible: mind reading. Specifically, they want to know what’s going on inside one man’s mind. They want to know what Kim Jong Un is thinking and, more importantly, what he wants. It’s impossible to know for sure what another person is thinking. And yet figuring out what the current North Korean leader wants...
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The Cyberhacking of All Against All

The political theorist Thomas Hobbes warned in the 17th century that without the modern state and its sovereign control of territory, humanity would slip back into a state of nature in which violence was uncontrolled and ever-present. “A war of all against all” would break out, he wrote, in which neighbor would turn against neighbor. States would continue to fight one another, but a measure...
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Will Trump Complete the Pivot to Asia?

James Mattis visited Asia this month on his first foreign trip as the new head of the Pentagon. It was less a get-acquainted visit than a damage control tour. His boss, President Donald Trump, had threatened to escalate tensions with China and prevent North Korea from launching a nuclear-capable ICBM. He’d accused Japan of currency manipulation. He wanted both Tokyo and Seoul to pay more for...
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Can Korea Save the Global Economy

Over the last five years, South Koreans have worried that their economy has slipped deeper into stagnation. Growth rates have hovered between 2 and 3 percent. Consumer spending is weak, and household debt has risen to record levels. Because global demand has fallen, the world is not buying Korean exports as eagerly as before. This is not just an economic crisis. It is an identity crisis. South...
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Donald Trump: Joker’s Wild

In poker, a wild card can add to the fun of the game. But it throws off the odds and makes the hands more unpredictable. That’s why poker purists prefer to keep jokers and other wild cards out of the deck. In American politics, the presidential primaries usually function as a vetting process to remove wild cards from the elections. In the most recent Republican primary, for instance, two...
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