I thought I was out: Middle East drawing US from Asia pivot

Sources in Washington recognize the desirability of continuing President Obama's "pivot" eastwards. But engagements in the Middle East threaten to complicate matters. There is only one nation that wins the more we bomb Syria – and it is clearly not the Syrian opposition or the innocent people who are dying there. And that is China,” explained a senior State Department official.”

Trump sparks confusion, danger of war in Korea tinderbox

Donald Trump’s latest moves toward North Korea are “dangerous” and sow confusion in a tense geopolitical scenario, says veteran Korea analyst Daniel C Sneider. Trump’s recent declaration that he ordered a US carrier strike group to race toward Korea when there was no such force in the vicinity undercuts American credibility and increases the possibility of a misstep, said Sneider, associate director of research for Stanford University’s Walter H Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

Russia raises defense alert after North Korea launches missile

Russia raised the level of alert for its air defense system just a few  hours after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday and  after Washington and Moscow clashed at the United Nations over a possible military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

Can an Asian Ostpolitik ease tension on the Korean Peninsula?

Moon will take office at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea. To understand what kind of policy he will pursue requires familiarity with liberal foreign-policy thinking in South Korea  since the 1998-2003 presidency of Kim Dae-jung. Kim had watched the Cold War come to a peaceful end in Europe, and he wanted to bring his own country’s ongoing confrontation with the communist North to a similarly non-violent conclusion.

US Senator calls for probe into promotion of Kushner Cos deal

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has called for an investigation into “potentially fraudulent statements and misrepresentations” made by companies promoting investment in a property development involving the family company of White House advisor Jared  Kushner.

North Korea’s new ICBMs change little about threat to the US

Much of South Korea has been within range of Pyongyang’s artillery, unguided rockets, and short-range missiles, for some time. Indeed, such threats against Seoul  and its huge metropolitan surroundings have existed for many years. As for Japan, North Korea has long had the ability to deliver some type of warhead to much of the island nation. However, without a reliable re-entry vehicle to protect a nuclear device during re-entry into the atmosphere, a missile of any longer range adds little to the threat level for Seoul or  Tokyo.

Trump is late on China trade, too

If Donald Trump thought slapping China would divert attention from events in Virginia, he miscalculated. That’s because, just like his slow disavowal of racist protestors, Trump’s move to investigate Beijing’s trade practices is too little, too late. Directing Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to probe America’s deficit with China makes for great optics for the reality-TV president.

How China’s economy could turn radioactive

Commercial satellite imagery, the respected Johns Hopkins University advisory reports, show increased numbers of massive landslides near the  slopes of Mt. Mantap, near Pyongyang’s nuclear test area. Kim’s regime  is essentially engineering giant earthquakes. It was a March 2011 quake, remember, that precipitated the Fukushima atomic plant meltdown, the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Xi reasserts role in Korean game with summons to Kim

Chinese President Xi Jinping has placed himself back at the center of the game, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Beijing adds yet another piece to the fast-shifting diplomatic chess board that is the Korean peninsula.