North Korea and Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) focused on “culture, arts and heritage,” North Korean state media said on Thursday, renewing and building upon a previous agreement from 2002.
How should the Trump administration approach Pyongyang diplomatically? Given a widespread, rigid view among U.S. policymakers that the Kim regime is nothing more than an “evil deceiver” and the tendency of those policymakers to automatically equate talking to North Korea with a reward, setting up a low-profile back channel with North Korean negotiators should be prioritized first.
The Park Geun-hye administration started with an ambitious middle-power foreign policy agenda. But as President Park’s time in office seems set to come to an end, South Korea’s middle power prestige may fall victim to South Korea’s domestic politics. Park had several policies seeking to utilize South Korea’s middle power status. The "Eurasia Initiative" aimed to establish a logistics and energy network through North Korea, Russia, Central Asia and on to Europe.
Pyongyang began exporting statues to Africa in the late 1960s, when a wave of independence movements created a new market of ideologically friendly leaders in search of grand symbols to bolster national identity and claims of political legitimacy. North Korea, looking to expand its diplomatic ties vis a vis rival Seoul, initially provided the works for free. It only started selling them from about 2000.
Aside from reunification of the Korean peninsula, if denuclearization in North Korea is to be the central goal, how can one possibly achieve it? What could bring the North Korean regime to its knees and to the negotiating table? [...] for the ears of one pivotal or sitting on the panel of speakers if things continue as they are. That audience, of course, is the 24 million North Korean citizens still in the country.
As the Trump administration assumes leadership of American foreign policy, questions prevail about how it perceives the United States’ role in the world and how it will exercise that role. The appearance of a potentially unconventional U.S. president amidst a world in flux highlights the enormous uncertainties and the potential risks to U.S. stability and prosperity that are now confronting us.