The White House moved quickly to debunk North Korea's exaggerated claim that a Jan. 5 "artificial earthquake" at the site where Pyongyang had conducted three previous nuclear tests was a breakthrough detonation of a hydrogen bomb. The size of the blast was similar to that of North Korea's January 2013 test and had a yield thousands of times lower than the yield expected of a hydrogen blast. But in downplaying North Korea's claim so as not to feed Kim Jong-un's cravings for international attention, the Obama administration risks underplaying the growing danger posed by North Korea's unchecked efforts to develop nuclear and missile capabilities needed to threaten a nuclear strike on the United States.
Joshua Kurlantzick looks at current U.S. policy toward China and argues that not only does it alienate allies, but takes U.S. diplomats, money and arms away from places that truly matter, and that in some places America would do best to let China win.
Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea as well as local opposition to Tokyo’s plans for building a new airfield to replace the U.S. Marines’ Futenma facility are the two main challenges for Washington and Tokyo in the new year, writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.
Given the complex politics of the India–Pakistan relationship, the United States does not play a role in their bilateral talks, but Washington can certainly take steps to help prevent spoilers from once again disrupting a dialogue process that deserves every chance to succeed.
The governments of Japan and South Korea discussed the trafficking of South Korean sex slaves (known as "comfort women") in Japan during World War II. Japan agreed to provide reparations to surviviors which the government of South Korea would distribute; South Korea agreed to review the placement of a memorial statue dedicated to comfort women, which is near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports annually to Congress on China's compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations, based on China's policies and practices. The first report in 2004 was released exactly three years after China’s accession to the WTO.
In October, the Chinese Communist Party announced the end of its one-child policy—which has spurred relentless criticism from human rights advocates since its enactment in 1979—and the launch of a new rule permitting married couples to have up to two children. In China, many reacted with joy at the news of this policy shift.
Unification would constitute one of the most decisive changes in the history of Northeast Asia since the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, with far-reaching implications for the United States and the balance of power in the region. Sue Mi Terry outlines steps that the United States should take to increase the likelihood that the U.S.-South Korea alliance would survive the disappearance of North Korea.
Fifty years after the establishment of official diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, continued animosity between the United States’ two Northeast Asian allies remains a problem for Washington, hampering its ability to deal with the challenges posed by North Korea, China, and a host of nontraditional security threats. Mark E. Manyin argues that, for the United States, the costs of nonintervention are rising.
Over the past half century, South Korea and Japan have established themselves as firm and reliable allies of the United States, contributing to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. But despite increasing cultural exchange and deepening economic ties between the two countries, Korea-Japan relations have shown deteriorated. Cheol Hee Park explains that, given the deteriorating security situation in East Asia and the emergence of an assertive China, the United States has an interest in repairing Korea-Japan relations.
Testifying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Adjunct Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia Daniel S. Markey discussed the ramifications of a potential civil nuclear agreement with Pakistan. He concluded that pursuing a nuclear deal with Pakistan at this time is unrealistic, poorly timed, and unwise.
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