Asia Program Publications


Relations in "Kim Jong Un's Era"

Authors: Scott A. Snyder and See-won Byun
Comparative Connections

China-South Korea tensions rose with the announcement of the U.S.-South Korea alliance decision to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea and South Korean protests against illegal Chinese fishing. Exclusive economic zones (EEZs) remain another point of China-South Korea tension. Although China and South Korea seek to advance trade within various frameworks, such efforts only highlight a widening gap between the economic and political aspects of their relationship. Current security priorities require effective approaches to both immediate differences over THAAD and EEZs and longer-term preferences over how to effectively promote lasting stability on the Korean Peninsula, write Snyder and See Won Byun, PhD candidate in political science at the George Washington University.

See more in China; South Korea; Defense and Security; Trade


US-Japan Relations: Hiroshima to The Hague

Author: Sheila A. Smith
Comparative Connections

Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, overviews President Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima in May and his last visit to Asia that reemphasized the regional priorities of his “pivot” to Asia. She, together with Charles McClean of University of California, San Diego, also examine the shared challenges the United States and Japan face such as domestic politics of each country,  the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, North Korean fifth nuclear test, and continued maritime tensions in Asia even after the ruling of The Hague came out.

See more in China; Japan; Regional Security


North Korea Nuclear Ambition Lives in the Gap Between U.S. and China–So Close It

Author: Scott A. Snyder
The Guardian

Because North Korea thrives in the gap created by Sino-U.S. strategic mistrust and the most dangerous threat to the Kim Jong-un regime’s legitimacy comes from South Korea, the most effective way of conveying to him that his regime’s survival depends on denuclearization would be through coordination of a trilateral strategy among the United States, China, and South Korea., writes CFR Senior Fellow Scott Snyder.

See more in North Korea; United States; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament; Politics and Strategy


Democratic Backsliding and the Reach of ISIS in Southeast Asia

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
Current History

In early May 2016, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines made a major announcement. The three countries, which often have trouble cooperating on transnational challenges, and have long disputed ownership of some of their adjacent waters, said they would begin coordinated patrols at sea and install a threeway hotline to discuss kidnappings and other militant activities.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Terrorist Organizations and Networks


The Wisdom of The Hague’s South China Sea Decision

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
Wall Street Journal

Jerome A. Cohen discusses the verdict in the Philippines’ case against China in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In this op-ed, Cohen writes about the importance of the decision both in drawing greater attention to the role of arbitration in international relations and in ruling that none of the Spratlys are entitled to an exclusive economic zone. 

See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy