Vietnam’s lessons for North Korea | Columns

Vietnam is more than a convenient neutral site for the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, slated for later this month. The Southeast Asian nation is being held up as a model for what Kim’s isolated country could become if he adopts sweeping market reforms. It’s an especially apt comparison, one Kim himself reportedly noted last year – but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. The choice facing Kim at the Hanoi summit is the same as it’s always been: weapons or…

Why the world shouldn’t expect North Korea to denuclearize

BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA – With the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un coming up, I was invited to speak last Wednesday at a conference at the International Christian University in Tokyo on North Korea. It was an excellent event, focusing explicitly on cutting through the grandiose rhetoric from the United States and South Korean presidents about North Korea’s denuclearization to determine what the North has actually done since detente started in January 2018. The short answer is very little, and that is…

Why did Donald Trump announce Vietnam as host of the second North Korea summit?

Updated February 07, 2019 07:02:49 Photo: America’s former foe services a free market economy while retaining communist rule. (ABC News: Doan Tung) During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump announced that Vietnam would host his second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un — a move that some pundits view as Hanoi’s bid to buttress itself against encroaching Chinese power. Key points: Vietnam has hosted several international forums in recent years The country presents few security risks for Washington and Pyongyang Washington looks to Vietnam as a case…

As China feuds with the US, don’t expect it to encourage better behaviour from North Korea

Here’s a triangulation that’s rapidly getting more acute: China, North Korea and the United States. It’s not just that China is North Korea’s only real ally, its bulwark of defence since the Korean war. It’s also that China’s differences with the US are deepening with the indictment of its biggest smartphone maker for theft of US trade secrets, industrial espionage and money laundering. And it’s also that the US is looking for ways to make a deal with North Korea that would tone down the hostility dating from the Korean…

Is North Korea’s economy feeling heat from the United States?

The blacklisted 1970s-era North Korean oil tanker floated in waters a few hundred kilometres south of Shanghai, tethered to a ship half its size by a hose, as if hooked up to an intravenous line. The offshore coupling, spotted by the Japanese navy last month, was the latest evidence that North Korea may be succeeding in skirting international sanctions designed to pressure the isolated regime into giving up its nuclear weapons. The ship was likely receiving a transfusion of oil, a primary target of ongoing international sanctions on North Korea.…

North Korea accused by UN of illegally selling fishing rights to Chinese companies, violating sanctions

A UN panel is expected to accuse North Korea of illegally selling fishing rights to other countries – including China – as a means of generating income in contravention of past Security Council resolutions, diplomatic sources said in advance of an upcoming sanctions report. The panel, which tracks violations of sanctions measures against Pyongyang, is expected to show in its annual report that vessels carrying North Korean fishing licences were operating in waters between the Korean peninsula and its neighbouring countries. The claim is based on information provided by two…

North of 26° south and the security of Australia

In terms of Australia’s first, and primary, strategic defence objective—‘to deter, deny and defeat any attempt by a hostile country or non-state actor to attack, threaten or coerce Australia’—it seems that Paul Dibb’s 1986 review of defence capabilities was prophetic. Dibb’s assessment is as accurate now as it was 32 years ago: ‘There are risks inherent in our strategic environment that could pose difficult problems for the nation’s defence.’ Today, however, the timeframe for change is much shorter. Over the past three decades, many of the factors that have shaped…

As China-US rivalry grows, it’s advantage North Korea – and bad news for denuclearisation

US-China rivalry – including a trade war and tensions over Taiwan and South China Sea – is escalating. In October 2018, US Vice President Mike Pence even insinuated that a new Cold War may be underway. Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, has good reasons to exalt at the intensifying G2 rivalry. Great power competition enlarges North Korea’s strategic value and impairs denuclearisation. Locked in a security dilemma with the US, China could diagnose US-led security network in Asia as containment. In turn, this encourages Chinese views to accept…

North Korea May Favour Vietnam-Style Reforms, But Risks Persist

Key View: North Korea is believed to see considerable advantages in emulating Vietnam’s economic reforms, which have brought rapid economic growth while maintaining one-party rule. If North Korea were to embark on Vietnam’s path, it would receive considerable support from China and South Korea. However, unlike North Korea, Vietnam did not have a nuclear programme complicating its relations with the US and regional powers. In addition, it is unclear if North Korea’s Kim regime is willing to be as ideologically flexible as Vietnam. The ongoing impasse in the North Korean…

Pompeo expects ‘good marker’ with North Korea by end-February

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that he expected further progress by the end of next month in nuclear negotiations with North Korea. Pompeo, addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos via satellite link, said he believed by the end of February “we’ll have another good marker along the way” with North Korea. (Reporting by Mark Trevelyan) Source link