Japan

  • A Strategy for Dealing with North Korea

    Former US undersecretary of state, R. Nicholas Burns, discusses US options, the importance of Chinese pressure, and lessons learned from the Iran nuclear crisis

    New sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on September 11 in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test are “not significant enough,” according to R. Nicholas Burns, an Atlantic Council board member who served as undersecretary of state for political affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

    Sanctions must be part of a “patient long-term strategy” that includes deterrence, working closely with allies, and negotiations, said Burns, laying out the United States’ options for dealing with the North Korean crisis. 

    Capping a summer marked by defiant intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un dramatically escalated the crisis on September 3 by successfully testing a miniaturized hydrogen bomb that is capable of being placed on an ICBM. On September 15, North Korea launched a missile over Japan—it's second such act in just over two weeks. The test was in defiance of a fresh round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on North Korea earlier in September. 

    As the third-highest-ranking official at the State Department from 2005 to 2008, Burns was the lead US negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program. Drawing on that experience, he emphasized the need for a multilateral approach to defuse the North Korean crisis. China, he said, would be a critical player in such an approach.

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  • The United States’ ‘Horrible Options’ for Dealing with North Korea

    With Kim Jong-un ratcheting up tensions on the Korean Peninsula, US President Donald J. Trump is left with two “horrible” options to deal with the threat posed by the North Korean regime, according to Atlantic Council board member and a former acting and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Michael Morell.

    Acknowledging that he has “serious doubts” about the effectiveness of diplomacy to defuse the crisis, Morell said that a non-diplomatic solution leaves the United States with less than palatable alternatives. Washington would have to weigh the options of conducting a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s missiles and nuclear facilities, or accepting the fact that North Korea has these capabilities and using a strategy of containment and deterrence.

    Both options could leave thousands of people dead, Morell said. “Both options are horrible options. The problem is, it looks like the president of the United States is going to have to choose one of them,” he added.

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  • North Korea Tests Donald Trump

    North Korea’s missile test over Japan on August 29 came “perilously close” to being an act of war; the question now is how will US President Donald J. Trump react, said the Atlantic Council’s Robert A. Manning.

    In response to past North Korean missile tests, Trump vowed to rain down “fire and fury”  on the hermit kingdom. After the latest test on Aug. 29, he warned Pyongyang that “all options are on the table.”

    “[North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un has threatened to fire missiles at Guam, but the North Koreans are very careful to calibrate their actions so that they fall just under the threshold that would force a US response. However, I think this time there is an accumulation of frustration and anger building in the White House,” said Manning, a resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. Guam is a US territory and home to the United States’ Andersen Air Force Base.

    Noting Trump’s past rhetoric on North Korea, Manning said: “The missile test is the equivalent of [North Korean leader] Kim [Jong-un] throwing a pie in his face.”

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  • The ‘Existential Threat’ Posed by North Korea

    The Pentagon has confirmed that North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 28. The missile, which landed in the sea off the Japanese coast, flew higher and for longer than the one North Korea tested on July 4. This means it could hit cities in the United States.

    Here is what Atlantic Council analysts had to say about this development.

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  • TRADE in ACTION - July 7, 2017

    THIS WEEK IN TRADE
    The G20 Summit is this week, and the stakes are high for all the attendees. For live coverage of the G20, follow along on Politico.

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  • Vajdich in BreakingViews: Immigrant Song


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  • How to Prevent Future Cyber Attacks

    Wednesday's indictment of Russian hackers, including from Russia's Federal Security Service, over cyberthefts against Yahoo
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  • Manning in Nikkei Asian Review: Saudi King's Japanese Visit Is About Much More than Oil


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  • Ward Quoted by DW on US Defense Secretary Mattis' Upcoming Visits to South Korea and Japan


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  • Ward Quoted by the Diplomat on US Defense Secretary Mattis' Upcoming Visits to South Korea and Japan

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