Northeast Asia

  • On North Korea, More Continuity than Change

    This article is part of a series reflecting on the first year of the Trump administration. 

    North Korea’s march toward a nuclear weapon presented US President Donald J. Trump with his first international crisis. Though difficult to see against the backdrop of missile tests and inflammatory rhetoric, Trump’s approach to the situation has maintained a significant degree of continuity with the policies of his predecessors. He has been unconventional and unforgiving in many ways, but has taken a policy stance which conveys US expectations and is geared toward a check on North Korean nuclear ambitions. The success of that policy remains uncertain.

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  • Manning in Nikkei Asian Review: Trump Impatience Could Yet Trigger War


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  • How North Korea Went from Testing Missiles to Figure Skating in the Winter Olympics

    The most recent example of sports diplomacy between North and South Korea will not solve all problems between neighbors on the divided peninsula, but it certainly marks a step in the right direction.

    During a meeting between negotiators from Pyongyang and Seoul in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) along the border between North and South Korea on January 9, it was agreed that North Korea would send a delegation to the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea in February, military talks to decrease tension between the two neighboring nations would begin, and a military hotline would be reopened.

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  • North Korea May Be Trying to Drive a Wedge Between the United States and South Korea

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely trying to drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea with his uncharacteristic offer of an olive branch to Seoul, according to the Atlantic Council’s Robert A. Manning.

    On January 3, North Korea reopened a border hotline with South Korea after two years of silence. That followed a proposal from Kim in his New Year’s Day speech to ease tensions with South Korea. Kim also suggested that North Korean athletes may participate in the Winter Olympics in the South Korean town of Pyeongchang in February.

    Kim’s outreach may be a sign that tough international sanctions are beginning to hurt North Korea, said Manning, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. This, he surmised, may have led Kim to seek to “divide and conquer” the US-South Korean alliance.

    “It is a time-honored tactic, particularly when there is a leftist government in Seoul—as you have now,” he added.

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  • Manning Quoted in Express on North Korea Crisis


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  • Ask the General: Steps to Demonstrate an Operational ICBM


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  • Manning Quoted in Yonhap News on North Korea's ICBM Capabilities


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  • 2018 Will Be A Year of Living Dangerously On The Korean Peninsula

    As troubling as current tensions are, 2018 promises to be an even more dangerous year on the Korean Peninsula. Amid conflicting signals from US President Donald J. Trump’s administration and anticipated hints of flexibility in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s statement, one immediate question is whether and under what circumstances Washington will be willing to open talks with Pyongyang to defuse the crisis.

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  • Miscalculations, Machismo, and Military Misjudgment Could Create New Global Hot Spots

    Connecting 2017’s political and military missteps to 2018’s global economic outlook

    The shift toward nationalist populism, demonstrated by the sweeping political changes around the world in 2017, has throughout history been a harbinger of global instability and conflict, and could directly affect both the international security landscape and global economy in 2018.

    Looking back, it is hard to believe how quickly the geopolitical landscape has changed in just one year.  Through 2017, elections all over the world brought new forces to power, challenged the political establishment, introduced new tensions into global politics, and exacerbated old ones.

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  • Manning in Global Times: White House Unresolved on Possible North Korea Talks


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