Small underdeveloped countries, unless they suddenly discover oil or gold, are at a distinct disadvantage in the global arena. If they play by the rules, they will remain underdeveloped. Over the last half-century, very few countries have managed to jump from the Third World to the club of richest nations.
As he embarks Tuesday on a major trip through East Asia, U.S. President Barack Obama will be focused on reassuring anxious – albeit sometimes annoying – allies that Washington remains determined to deepen its commitment to the region.
If the North Korea of the 1990s was seen as a starving nation that produced an exodus of hungry people, then the picture should be even gloomier now – six years after it stopped receiving South Korea’s generous aid. But it’s not. The nation of 24 million people, widely said to be the most secretive in the world and a nuclear threat, appears to have weathered the years well.
A very Shakespearean epic is unraveling today in Pyongyang.
U.S policymakers indulge in a variety of child’s play called collapsism. They close their eyes when they want a particularly despised adversary to go away. And poof! Kim Jong Eun’s North Korea eventually disappears. Raul Castro’s Cuba eventually vanishes.
Stories of struggle can be found all over the world, from a law classroom in Oklahoma and the brutal borderlands between the United States and Mexico to a Bedouin village in Jordan and wedding parties in Morocco, as the 24th Human Rights Watch Film Festival is showcasing.
U.S. President Barack Obama is set to host his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Jun. 7-8 for their first bilateral meeting as heads of state. Figuring on their agenda is how to address a precarious North Korea, which is armed with a small nuclear arsenal and vying for a bigger one.
The island of Okinawa has long been known as the base camp for a majority of the United States’ 50,000 troops in Japan. But now, against the backdrop of escalating nuclear threats from North Korea, local leaders are pushing hard to promote this island – the largest of 60 that comprise Japan’s southern prefecture – and its surrounding islets as a lucrative site for commercial enterprises.
With all sides seeming to climb further up the escalatory ladder over the last several days, defusing the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula -- let alone persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal as it once promised to do -- looks daunting.
Amidst growing tensions with North Korea and, to a lesser extent, China, the White House Monday insisted that its “re-balancing” toward the Asia/Pacific remained on track and that Washington is fully committed to its allies there, especially Japan and South Korea.
North Korea, which has survived three rounds of diplomatic and economic sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006, reacted with predictable fury, threatening to nuke the United States, in retaliation for a Security Council resolution imposing new sanctions against Pyongyang.
North Korea has vowed to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States, hours ahead of a U.N. vote on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.
Tuesday’s nuclear test by North Korea poses major new questions about the sustainability of President Barack Obama’s first-term policy of “strategic patience” in dealing with Pyongyang.
North Korea, which conducted its third nuclear test Monday, is following closely in the heavy footsteps of Israel as one of the world's most intransigent nations, ignoring Security Council resolutions and defying the international community.
The daughter of South Korea's former military ruler has won the country's presidential election, promising in a speech to her supporters to heal a "divided society".