Japan and S. Korea: Where to from here?

It is a truism to say East Asia today is at a major turning point, given the rise of China as an economic and military power, the long-term economic downturn in Japan and the waning relative power of the United States. The U.S., long the dominant power in the region, is now squaring off against an increasingly assertive China. The countries caught in the middle are trying to find their own position. This change in the balance of power in East Asia does more than simply trigger tensions between the…

On China and North Korea, let Trump be Trump

Kim Jong Un’s announced new weapons test and his ultimatum to Washington to strike a deal before the year is out reinforce the urgent need for President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel ‘inappropriate’ press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release ‘lightly redacted’ version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of ‘unprecedented steps’ to ‘spin’ Mueller report MORE to return to the clear-eyed positions he took on issues involving China and North Korea during the campaign and as president-elect. In his run for the…

South Korea and Japan: Where to From Here?

Overconfidence brought disappointment, and could signal a new direction in relations. By Kan Kimura for The Diplomat April 17, 2019 It is a truism to say that East Asia today is at a major turning point, given the rise of China as an economic and military power, the long-term economic downturn in Japan, and the waning relative power of the United States. The United States, long the dominant power in the region, is now squaring off against an increasingly assertive China. The countries caught in the middle are trying to…

G7 Foreign Ministers Address Maritime Asia, North Korea in Communiqué

The G-7 continues to express concern about the East and South China Seas and the Korean Peninsula. Over the weekend, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G-7) gathered in Saint Malo, France, for their annual meeting and released a wide-ranging communique addressing, among other issues, maritime security in the Asia-Pacific and North Korea’s disarmament. “We reiterate our commitment to promoting cooperative, international oceans and seas governance and to maintaining a rules-based maritime order based on international law,” the extended joint communiqué released by the ministers noted. “In this context,…

Spy chief Nick Warner on the security threats facing Australia, from terrorism to North Korea – RN

Posted April 06, 2019 06:00:00 Photo: Spy chief Nick Warner says there’s a “delicate balance” between civil liberties and security. (AAP: Alan Porritt) The list of security threats to Australia is “almost endless” and greater than ever before. That’s the view of spy chief Nick Warner, who says a rapidly evolving security environment is creating a unique set of challenges. “Australia is facing some of the most challenging strategic circumstances that it has for decades,” Mr Warner told RN’s Geraldine Doogue in a rare interview. “The world is more complex…

Japan gives initial OK for use of textbooks that outline country’s position on island disputes with China and South Korea

The use of elementary school textbooks that describe Japan’s position on two island groups disputed with China and South Korea passed initial screening Tuesday based on guidelines adopted in 2017, drawing protests from the neighboring nations. The education ministry approved for the academic year beginning April 1, 2020, the social studies textbooks, which reflect the position of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on territorial issues. Seoul reacted sharply to the move the same day, releasing a statement saying it “strongly condemns the Japanese government’s approval” of the textbooks and summoning…

Illegal Oil Transshipments to N.Korea Doubled Last Year – The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea

Illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products to North Korea have more than doubled over the past year, South Korean military data suggest. The transfers aimed at evading tough import quotas set by the UN Security Council have taken place not only on the South China Sea but even on the West Sea as the North has become bolder amid dwindling supplies. But South Korea has done little to intercept them. According to data Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Baek Seung-joo obtained from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suspected cases of illegal…

The Hanoi Summit – We Asked Lyle Goldstein What Happens Next in U.S.-North Korea Relations

The answer to why the Hanoi Summit was a failure is no particular mystery. If one wanted to truly defuse this most dangerous situation, one would want to send experienced diplomats, preferably ones who had brokered extremely challenging international deals in the past. These emissaries, moreover, should have possessed the qualities of patience, foresight, historical and cultural sensitivity, as well as flexibility and creativity. Regrettably, that was not the team that traveled to Hanoi. Of course, the American people also would have been better served by meticulous preparations for such…

China calls US-North Korea summit an ‘important step’

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam last week was an “important step” toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, China’s foreign minister said Friday, despite criticism that the meeting ended early without leading to an agreement. The Hanoi talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were “worthy of full recognition,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature. “We feel like this meeting was an important step in finding a political…