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 Most RecentForeign Policy Archive
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North Korea

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U.S. threats to crush Iran and North Korea may yet work, but as of now neither Tehran nor Pyongyang appears to be intimidated. Repeated references by NSC adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence to the "Libya model" for denuclearization of North Korea just helped sink the Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim... Read More
When I was young, I often imagined myself as an American diplomat. Back in the early 1960s, it seemed like serving my country in such a role would be an honorable, even glorious, path to take. Can you believe that I ever thought such a thing in this twenty-first-century moment when diplomats by the hundreds... Read More
Here’s a recent typical headline about the upcoming talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: “Will Trump’s Ignorance (and Bolton’s Impetuousness) Doom the North Korea Summit?” When it comes to ignorance, there can be little question that the Trump administration is in a league all its own. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,... Read More
How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
When, in early March, Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Washington foreign policy elite nearly suffered a collective heart attack. For one thing, the announcement came as a complete surprise. Trump had telegraphed his other foreign policy bombshells well in advance: leaving the Paris climate accord, ripping up the Iran... Read More
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It’s got to be either one of the stupidest acts that I can recall or a very wicked plan by Washington neocons to sabotage Korean peace talks. How else to describe the decision by Big Brother USA and junior sidekick South Korea to stage major air force exercises on North Korea’s border. The prickly North... Read More
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The biggest obstacle Donald Trump is going to face in his upcoming negotiations with Kim Jong-un, is not Kim's unwillingness to abandon his nuclear weapons program, but resistance from powerful elements in the foreign policy establishment who will do everything they can to scuttle the agreement. We've already seen an example of this just this... Read More
After Pyongyang railed this week that the U.S.-South Korean Max Thunder military drills were a rehearsal for an invasion of the North, and imperiled the Singapore summit, the Pentagon dialed them back. The B-52 exercises alongside F-22 stealth fighters were canceled. But Pyongyang had other objections. Sunday, NSC adviser John Bolton spoke of a "Libyan... Read More
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Introduction For some time, critics of President Trump’s policies have attributed them to a mental disorder; uncontrolled manic-depression, narcissus bullying and other pathologies. The question of Trump’s mental health raises a deeper question: why do his pathologies take a specific political direction? Moreover, Trump’s decisions have a political history and background, and follow from a... Read More
Kim Jong-un is not trying to pull a fast one on Trump. He doesn't have something up his sleeve, and he's not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. He wants to end the war, establish good relations with his neighbors in the South, and get on with the business of improving the lives... Read More
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Donald Trump thinks his "maximum pressure" campaign persuaded North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. But it's a bunch of baloney. The reason Kim Jong-un is planning to denuclearize is because China adamantly opposes nuclear weapons on the peninsula. That's the whole deal in a nutshell. China, who is North Korea's biggest trading partner,... Read More
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A wonderful, joyful day, a jubilant summit! On the bloody 38th parallel, for the first time in many years, the two Koreans met, the leaders of the two Korean states. There were affable smiles and a spontaneous brief and unscripted visit of the southern president to the northern country, and then the northern one -... Read More
As a journalist, I have always dreaded reporting on meetings between world leaders billed as “historic” or “momentous” or just plain “significant”. Such pretensions are usually phoney or, even if something of interest really does happen, its importance is exaggerated or oversimplified. But plus ca change is not always a safe slogan for the cautious... Read More
Introduction In recent years US imperial strategy has sought to lessen the cost of defeating and overthrowing independent countries. The means and method are fairly straight forward. World-wide propaganda campaigns which demonize the adversary; the enlistment and collaboration of European and regional allies (England, France, Saudi Arabia and Israel); the recruitment, contracting, training and arming... Read More
Before President Trump trashes the Iran nuclear deal, he might consider: If he could negotiate an identical deal with Kim Jong Un, it would astonish the world and win him the Nobel Peace Prize. For Iran has no nuclear bomb or ICBM and has never tested either. It has never enriched uranium to bomb grade.... Read More
Mike Pence's trip to the Pyeongchang Olympics was an unmitigated disaster. In just 48 hours, the Vice President managed to insult nearly everyone he encountered including South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un's younger sister, Kim Yo-Jong. The overbearing Pence flaunted his contempt for the Korean people by humiliating their leaders, shrugging off their... Read More
Considering that a nuclear conflict over North Korea appeared imminent in recent weeks, the winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a most welcome distraction – and might even deter a major war on the peninsula. The highlight of the games was the arrival of Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korea’s ruler, Kim... Read More
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Brainwashed Americans believe that Kim Jong-un is responsible for the confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington, but nothing could be further from the truth. The real problem is not Kim’s nuclear weapons but Washington’s 65 year-long military occupation that continues to reinforce a political solution that was arbitrarily imposed on a sovereign nation in order to... Read More
The first pathetic pieces of wreckage of North Korean fishing boats known as “ghost ships” to be found this year are washing up on the coast of northern Japan. These are the storm-battered remains of fragile wooden boats with unreliable engines in which North Korean fishermen go far out to sea in the middle of... Read More
Or Launching a War for the Ages
Most people intuitively get it. An American preventive strike to wipe out North Korea’s nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles, or a commando raid launched with the same goal in mind, is likely to initiate a chain of events culminating in catastrophe. That would be true above all for the roughly 76 million Koreans living on... Read More
Honestly, how many times in your life have you ever run across a headline like this: “Top general says he would resist ‘illegal’ nuke order from Trump”? That was Air Force General John Hyten, head of the U.S. Strategic Command, the present commander of American nuclear forces, speaking at a conference in Canada last November.... Read More
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. Credit: KOGL/Wikimedia Commons
Fearing that peace might break out with the two Koreas talking to each other, Washington instructed South Korean President Moon Jae-in to keep the message about anything but peace. It is not just Trump. A former top official for the Obama administration warned Moon that South Korea was not going to get anywhere with the... Read More
After a year in which he tested a hydrogen bomb and an ICBM, threatened to destroy the United States, and called President Trump "a dotard," Kim Jong Un, at the gracious invitation of the president of South Korea, will be sending a skating team to the "Peace Olympics." An impressive year for Little Rocket Man.... Read More
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If the first months of 2017 were a time of great hopes following the historical defeat of Hillary Clinton, the year is ending in a sombre, almost menacing manner. Not only has the swamp easily, quickly and totally drowned Trump, but the AngloZionist Empire is reeling from its humiliating defeat in Syria and the Neocons... Read More
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My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is... Read More
President Trump has often said that his foreign policy objective was to keep his enemies guessing. If that’s the goal, you could say that he’s doing a good job. The problem is who does he think his enemies are, because the American people are often left guessing as well.US policy toward North Korea last week... Read More
DPRK Special Forces on Parade
First, the bragging dummies Trump and Haley are still at it. The want to force China to take action against the DPRK by threatening to take North Korea "into their hands" if China refuses to comply. Haley said “But to be clear, China can do more, (...) and we're putting as much pressure on them... Read More
Merry Christmas to one and all from North Korea. Glorious Leader Kim Jong-un unwrapped a wonderful new intercontinental missile, the Hwasong-15, which experts believe might be capable of reaching Los Angeles, New York and Washington, depending on the weight of its nuclear warhead. This was the big, earth-shaking story until Gen. Michael Flynn’s guilty plea... Read More
In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan. North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D.C. Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that missile, which could be... Read More
President Trump announced last week that he was returning North Korea to the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism” after having been off the list for the past nine years. Americans may wonder what dramatic event led the US president to re-designate North Korea as a terrorism-sponsoring nation. Has Pyongyang been found guilty of... Read More
A major goal of this Asia trip, said National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, is to rally allies to achieve the "complete, verifiable and permanent denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." Yet Kim Jong Un has said he will never give up his nuclear weapons. He believes the survival of his dynastic regime depends upon them.... Read More
As the presstitute media has no allegiance to truth, one has to wonder if we can even believe obituaries. For what it is worth, perhaps nothing, the presstitutes report that three US aircraft carrier battle groups are off North Korea or on the way there. What for? Why are the morons in Washington following the... Read More
Nightmares Past and Present
Preventing a nuclear war between the United States and North Korea may be the most pressing challenge facing the world right now. Our childish, ignorant, and incompetent president is shoving all of us -- especially the people of Asia -- ever nearer to catastrophe. While North Korea probably hasn’t yet developed the missiles to deliver... Read More
At the U.N. recently, Donald Trump followed up on his bloodcurdling threat to unleash on North Korea “fire and fury like the world has never seen” (essentially a warning of nuclear terror) with an even grimmer threat: to “totally destroy” that country. In his histrionic bluntness, Trump was not alone in raising the nuclear issue.... Read More
The descent of US/North Korea “crisis” to the level of schoolyard taunts should be remembered as one of the most bizarre, dangerous, and disgraceful chapters in US foreign policy history. President Trump, who holds the lives of millions of Koreans and Americans in his hands, has taken to calling the North Korean dictator “rocket man... Read More
NEW YORK – Not since Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev banged his fists and waved his shoe at the UN in 1960 has a world leader made such a spectacle of himself as President Donald Trump did this past week at the world organization. Trump vowed to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea, a nation of 25 million,... Read More
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Donald Trump has chosen the wrong career. His flamboyant style would make him a popular and much loved Kabuki actor. The Japanese call it aragoto, literally a “rough business” style of heroic drama, featuring a big bold warrior with red and black makeup and a huge sword. The warrior trumps up to the scene with... Read More
Wall Street Journal’s Solution to North Korea
The editors at the Wall Street Journal have settled on a plan for ending the crisis in North Korea. Starve them to death. I’m not kidding. In an article titled “Options for Removing Kim Jong In” the WSJ’s editorial board suggests that the US use “all of its tools to topple the North Korean regime”... Read More
Donald Trump isn’t going to start a war with North Korea. That’s just not going to happen. Not only does the United States not have the ground forces for such a massive operation but, more important, a war with the North would serve no strategic purpose at all. The US already has the arrangement it... Read More
Russians are concerned about Washington’s arbitrary closing of their San Francisco consulate and the illegal searching of diplomatic properties. There is no question that Washington has violated diplomatic protections and international law. Why did Washington show its outlaw face to the world? Was it to show that as strong as Russia is, Russia cannot protect... Read More
By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong Un has gotten the world's attention. What else does he want? Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what damage Kim could visit on U.S. troops and bases in South Korea, Okinawa and Guam, his country would be destroyed... Read More
Photo by Stefan Krasowski | CC BY 2.0
Here’s what the media isn’t telling you about North Korea’s recent missile tests. Last Monday, the DPRK fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island. The missile landed in the waters beyond the island harming neither people nor property. The media immediately condemned the test as a “bold and provocative act” that showed... Read More
Old Chinese saying: ‘when elephants battle, ants get crushed.’ Think of the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula in which the government in Seoul has been all but ignored. South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, keeps insisting that the US must not launch war against North Korea without South Korea’s agreement. President Donald Trump... Read More
Like 9/11, Hurricane Harvey brought us together. In awe at the destruction 50 inches of rain did to East Texas and our fourth-largest city and in admiration as cable television showed countless hours of Texans humanely and heroically rescuing and aiding fellow Texans in the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. On display this week... Read More
President Trump’s ability to trigger a nuclear war is "pretty damn scary" said former US intelligence director James Clapper this week. Remember when Trump vowed to "bomb the shit" out of his enemies? I don’t have much respect for Clapper, who brazenly lied to Congress and is a ringleader of the deep government’s efforts to... Read More
The United States and South Korea are currently engaged in large-scale, joint-military war games that simulate an invasion of the North, the destruction of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons sites, and a “decapitation operation” to take out the supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. The objective of the operation is to intensify tensions between North and South thereby... Read More
Photo by DaveBleasdale | CC BY 2.0
There are more parallels between an unfinished 1950s war in Northeast Asia and an ongoing 16-year-old war in the crossroads between Central and South Asia than meet the eye. Let’s start with North Korea. Once again the US/South Korea Hunger Games plow on. It didn’t have to be this way. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov... Read More
The Times They Are A-Changin’ in North Korea
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... Read More
If you happen to be a dystopian novelist, as TomDispatch regular John Feffer is, then you’re in business these days. Back in 2015, when Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency was just heating up and Feffer was writing Splinterlands, his vivid look back from the year 2050 at our shattered planet, he named the massive... Read More
"When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight," Samuel Johnson observed, "it concentrates his mind wonderfully." And the prospect of a future where Kim Jong Un can put a nuclear weapon on a U.S. city is going to cause this nation to reassess the risks and rewards of the American Imperium.... Read More
Saturday, Kim Jong Un tested an ICBM of sufficient range to hit the U.S. mainland. He is now working on its accuracy, and a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop that missile that can survive re-entry. Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He wants what every nuclear power... Read More
Category Classics
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