The Dance of the Five Powers on the Korean Peninsula

Arguably no Asian nation has suffered more in the modern era, or resisted more fiercely, than Korea.  Today it is still the battleground of empires, divided and beset by powerful outside forces.
Five competing agendas intersect on the Korean peninsula: those of South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan, and the United States.  The United States, in order to advance its interests and meet its alliance obligations, has to thread a difficult and winding path.
James Mattis visited South Korea on his first trip as Secretary of Defense.  Here’s what he has to deal with.
North Korea
The biggest dilemma for America, obviously, is North Korea a.k.a. the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK.
The DPRK is cast as a maniacal enemy of the world order in general and the United States in particular.  It is neither.
It is a state that was left adrift by the collapse of its main ally, the Soviet Union, in

Boiling Frogs
Peter Lee

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