Evil geniuses, stumbling fools, or something in between, we will attempt to divine the real motives behind Pyongyang’s foreign policy moves.
US Vice President Joseph Biden’s tour of Northeast Asia could not be timelier, as the region has turned into something of a hornet’s nest. China’s recent declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is just the latest twist to trends years in the making that are dangerous and disturbing: sparring between Tokyo and Beijing over [...]
When Kim Jong Un assumed power two years ago, foreign observers predicted North Korea would cut its losses short and disengage from Syria in the wake of the overthrow of friendly regimes in Algeria, Egypt and Libya. But this proved to be wishful thinking. On the contrary, Kim Jong Un got off the fence and has joined the Assad government to [...]
Russian influence on Korean affairs is often neglected in the West, regardless of the fact that Russia is among the four major global powers whose policies, to a large extent, determine the checks-and-balances system on the strategically important Korean peninsula. One of the latest examples of such an attitude is the public outcry in connection [...]
The unraveling of the Syrian drama has suddenly brought attention to an unexpected culprit: North Korea. But if you give it a second thought, that should not be surprising given the US’ vision of the world as a stand-off between good guys and bad guys. North Koreans are near the top of the latter list and it would be only natural to emphasize [...]
Some analysts, like Bruce Klingner writing in the Wall Street Journal on August 18, 2013 lament the recent agreement between the two Koreas to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), calling it a “trap,” wondering why the South Koreans would want to take this step given the opportunity to close the zone altogether, and claiming that KIC [...]
Snappy titles aside, the Panamanian interdiction of Cuban arms bound for North Korea is about much more than missiles. It challenges the world’s sanctions regimes by testing member states’ abilities to meet, enforce and carry out their obligations. So far, it is a bizarre tale of deception, suicide, honor and Twitter! The end is not yet [...]