Tensions in the South China Sea have accelerated in recent months, as China makes assertive moves to protect its claims in the area. Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center, explains that the Asian nations in the region have strong interests in the possible sub-sea energy wealth and navigation and fishing rights above. Given China’s actions and those of other claimants in the area, the U.S. must chart a careful diplomatic path to help assure a peaceful resolution of the issues and to protect America’s own strong interest in freedom of navigation.
[South Korean President] Moon’s challenge is get something from Kim [Jong-un] that he can then sell to [President] Trump. To judge from Trump’s endless flattery of Kim, this shouldn’t be too hard. The question is whether this game can persist indefinitely without definitive evidence of North Korean actions [as opposed to words] of what Kim has supposedly agreed to.