The Skeptics

Kim Jong Un is Playing America and China

Lest anyone imagine that Kim Jong-un is an international ingénue, consider how well he played the People’s Republic of China. Long on Beijing’s as well as Washington’s naughty list, North Korea forced the PRC to come calling, finally inviting Kim to visit more than six years after he took power.

Two months later Kim made a second visit, and this one to the northern city of Dalian rather than more distant Beijing. He explains that he came to “strengthen strategic communication” with China’s President Xi Jinping. Did the latter promise additional support to keep the PRC involved?

The Inside Scoop: What Russia Is Really Saying About Its 100-Megaton Nuclear Torpedo

The Right can hardly resist this call to return to the “good old days” when Ronald Reagan governed and the country agreed its greatest foe was the Kremlin. But America (and Russia) will actually be significantly less prosperous and much less secure as a result of these parochial and puerile machinations, especially in so far as they encourage the Stranglovian hallucinations of defense planners in both Moscow and Washington, DC.

The Kim-Moon Summit Was All Sizzle and No Substance

The meeting between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un was picture perfect. Their objectives promised cooperation and peace. The symbolism of the summit could not have been better.

But what the two leaders decided matters little until they act on their promises. And that won’t happen unless President Donald Trump and Kim reach a symbolic and practical agreement. While that is possible, it won’t be easy.

3 Big Questions for the Two North Korea Summits

The diplomatic events of the decade are rapidly approaching. Later this week, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea will meet with Kim Jong-un at Panmunjom for the first inter-Korean summit since 2007. Shortly thereafter Kim will have a summit with President Donald Trump—the first such meeting between the sitting leaders of North Korea and the United States.

Syria: A Preview of What Is to Come in North Korea?

Last Friday’s joint American, British, and French air campaign against three Syrian regime chemical weapons facilities was undertaken with an explicit goal in mind: sending an unambiguous message to Bashar al-Assad that he uses sarin and chlorine gas at his own peril. The operation was limited in scope and precise in its targeting—so precise, in fact, that not a single fatality was recorded after the raids.