Asia and Pacific

Article

North Korea's H-bomb and the Costs of American Indifference

Author: Scott A. Snyder
Washington Examiner

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.

 

See more in North Korea; United States; Proliferation; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Article

U.S.-Japan-Relations: Official Cooperation, Domestic Challenges

Authors: Sheila A. Smith and Charles McClean
Comparative Connections

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.

See more in United States; Japan; Defense Strategy; Regional Security

Primary Sources

Announcement by Foreign Ministers of Japan and South Korea on the Issue of "Comfort Women"

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.

See more in Japan; South Korea; Violence Against Women

Other Report

Unified Korea and the Future of the U.S.-South Korea Alliance

Author: Sue Mi Terry

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.

See more in South Korea; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Regime Changes

Other Report

Managing Japan-South Korea Tensions

Author: Mark E. Manyin

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.

See more in South Korea; Japan; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Other Report

Still Distant Neighbors: South Korea-Japan Relations Fifty Years After Diplomatic Normalization

Author: Cheol Hee Park

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.

See more in South Korea; Japan; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Testimony

Why a “Nuclear Deal” With Pakistan Is Not Realistic, Timely, or Wise

Author: Daniel S. Markey

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.

See more in Pakistan; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament