Should Trump be ready to offer Kim Jong-un US security guarantees for his regime in exchange for limiting North Korea’s missile program so that the US West Coast remains safe from North Korean projectiles, Russia could also offer to host a six-party summit in Vladivostok so close to the two Koreas, as well as China and Japan.
A nuclear accident at North Korea’s Yongbyon Facility could leave Japan vulnerable to airborne radioactive fallout, requiring Japan to cooperate with North Korea and other nations to manage disaster.
Inside the tightly controlled society of North Korea, the demise of state socialism, creeping market forces, and an increased social openness to the outside world is altering the country.
Russia has played it cool in the current North Korea crisis, convinced that the spike in tensions will soon subside. Moscow, however, is under no illusion: The security situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to deteriorate and the next alert is just around the corner.
The United States, South Korea, China, and Japan must work together to offer a combination of security and economic incentives to make denuclearization a reasonable alternative for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
The Japanese debate over acquiring missile strike capabilities needs to consider the broader alliance framework.
As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to simmer, questions arise concerning what war with a nuclear-powered North Korea would look like.
So far, 100 days into office, Trump appears to have offered an incoherent Asia policy marked by several continuities and discontinuities from the previous administration.
Where North Korea is concerned, neither China nor the United States will achieve security acting separately.
The common thread in U.S. strategy toward Iran, Syria, and North Korea isn’t changing these regimes so much as it is trying to change their behavior. More than likely, they will all remain hostile to U.S. interests.