North Korea grabs the narrative for the first time, but it has always had the cards

Watching Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and evening U.S. time was definitely the most fun since the Korea Shock on March 8. For the first time since then, North Korea took control of the story. Until now, almost everything we've heard about from North Korea has been through the filter of someone else. South Korean officials,… Continue reading North Korea grabs the narrative for the first time, but it has always had the cards

Sequencing could be the next issue to get batted around publicly

Yonhap's coverage of the chatfest at CSIS yesterday focused on the comment by Joseph Yun -- who retired recently from a long diplomatic career with stints in Seoul, an ambassadorship to Thailand and ended as North Korea liaison -- that denuclearization should come before a peace treaty. One of the misses so far by the… Continue reading Sequencing could be the next issue to get batted around publicly

The troop issue is officially in the public discussion. Now the question becomes: Will Trump’s put-it-all-out-there manner force the Koreas to admit their game?

In less than a week, the issue that has lurked behind President Trump's drive to talk to North Korea -- his desire to reduce U.S. troop levels at overseas bases -- has gone from inside baseball to front page headlines in the U.S. and South Korea. ┬áNBC got the scoop about John Kelly's pre-Olympic discussions… Continue reading The troop issue is officially in the public discussion. Now the question becomes: Will Trump’s put-it-all-out-there manner force the Koreas to admit their game?

Now it’s a fight for Trump’s mind, and he appears ready to yank U.S. troops so he can collect a Nobel.

After staging his summit with Kim Jong Un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in hustled to make sure that Donald Trump sticks with the program. With Trump so mercurial, the battle is on between doves and hawks to persuade him what he should ask of Kim and be willing to pay to Kim. The South Korean… Continue reading Now it’s a fight for Trump’s mind, and he appears ready to yank U.S. troops so he can collect a Nobel.

Will we learn more about Kim Jong Un or Moon Jae-in from the inter-Korean summit?

I suspect Moon Jae-in. And that would not be good. What would be great is if Moon would ask Kim Jong Un whether he still wants to takeover South Korea and, if Kim says no, then ask why he is building so many nuclear weapons. But I don't think Moon will do anything so difficult.… Continue reading Will we learn more about Kim Jong Un or Moon Jae-in from the inter-Korean summit?

The commentary on the summit prospect has picked up. Here’s a catch-up.

As I pointed out yesterday, much of the public and media chatter around prospect of a U.S.-North Korea summit has now shifted to how Trump and Kim are framing the core issue -- denuclearization -- in different ways. But in the past week or so, there has also been a flurry of other commentary from… Continue reading The commentary on the summit prospect has picked up. Here’s a catch-up.

The meaning of denuclearization at last is atop the public conversation about a Trump-Kim summit

This is good to see. At the 10:23 mark, the VOA's Steve Herman put the question to the White House in a smart way on Monday by using the Kim regime's own words. And Sarah Huckabee Sanders replied that the administration is not naive: WSJ columnist Gerry Seib framed the issue nicely in a column… Continue reading The meaning of denuclearization at last is atop the public conversation about a Trump-Kim summit