Thinking the unthinkable: War on the Korean Peninsula
Trump’s trade policy in Asia: A one-year review
Confronting North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs: American and Japanese views of threats and options compared
For Kim [Jong-un], the nuclear weapons are part of his national identity...To assume that one [Trump] can go in and talk about making him rich is almost antithetical, almost offensive in a way, for somebody who has achieved and completed his grandfather's goal.
I understand why the administration is offering so many carrots, but I’m afraid Trump thinks Kim is a businessman. What he’s forgetting is that Kim isn’t looking for wealth...He has all the wealth in the country. He’s looking for legitimacy.
I think the thing that's most dangerous about the upcoming [U.S.-North Korea] summit is that people might expect things to happen too fast. This is Mr. Trump's weakness. He likes to go big, but this... will be pretty painstaking and will require years, not months. There is a lot of fear that Trump might be too excited by [about the prospect of a Nobel Peace Prize] and reaches out for peace treaties before actual verified commitments to denuclearization are in place...and so basically, a peace agreement should be the last reward, not something you give away.
There's a lot more pressure on the U.S. than on North Korea to do well in this summit because the U.S. has become the world's worst diplomat. The Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of so many important agreements that were aimed at cooperation and peace...There are concerns that Trump may go for what is most threatening to the U.S., the ICBM capacity of North Korea, rather than the much larger arsenal of short-range and mid-range missiles that would target Japan, South Korea, and the regional partners in Asia.
[A quarter of all sex crimes in South Korea reported in 2015 involved spycams, which] is a really large increase when you compare it to in 2006, when about 3.6 percent of the total number of sex crimes reported involved spycams...[A spy cam scheme may be a] more passive rather than aggressive way [for South Korean men] to act out their masculine insecurities and their social economic discontent on women. There are a lot of men in Korea, especially in the younger generations, who blame women for some of the problems that they face. There’s a sense of rejection by women and also being bested by women in schools and in jobs. In some ways, [this] is an easy way for your average guy to feel like there’s some kind of payback.
Nuclear weapons are a part of North Korea’s national identity. It’s in their constitution. It’s in their art. It’s in their education system. It’s in the way that people talk about things to themselves. It is the guarantor of North Korea’s status and it’s the guarantor of Kim [Jong-un]. Unless we see a difference in the way, or any attempt at shaking down that ideological infrastructure of North Korea’s nuclear identity, then I don’t see denuclearization as something that is a realistic goal.