North Korea's neighbors apprehensive, angry over upcoming rocket launch
A DigitalGlobe satellite image obtained March 30, 2012 of North Korea's launch site at Tongch’ang-ri.
April 6th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

North Korea's neighbors apprehensive, angry over upcoming rocket launch

By Jamie Crawford

As an agreement for the United States to resume food aid to North Korea lies in tatters over the North's upcoming launch of a long-range rocket, there is a palpable sense of apprehension and anger over the launch in the reclusive regime's own backyard.

From South Korea to Japan and China, the Philippines, Russia and Australia, a varying chorus of anger and disappointment is being directed toward the Stalinist state in advance of the launch, expected later this month. The question now is what happens after the rocket leaves the launching pad.
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Filed under: China • North Korea • Phillipines • South Korea • South Korea
March 28th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

N. Korean missile launch 'troublesome'

By Larry Shaughnessy

U.S. military officials are anxiously awaiting North Korea's announced ballistic missile launch, which they described to Congress on Wednesday as part of the regime's "coercive strategy" to antagonize, provoke and then try to win concessions.

April 15 will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Song, the founder of communist North Korea and the grandfather of the current North Korean leader, who has said there will be a missile launch around that date, in violation of numerous U.N. resolutions and the most recent agreement with the United States.

North Korea has designated the entire year of 2012 as a year of strength and prosperity in celebration of Kim Il Song's birthday.
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Danger ahead with untested leader?
Kim Jong Un is shown inspecting the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the Korean People's Army on New Years Day in this photo taken by North Korea's official news agency.
January 6th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

Danger ahead with untested leader?

By Jamie Crawford

As a late twenty-something with no formal military experience of his own takes the reins of power over a cadre of octogenarian generals and a one-million man plus military, North Korea watchers are somewhat divided over the direction Kim Jong Un will ultimately take the hermetic country.

The North's propoganda machine is already in full rallying mode. A New Year's Day message released by the official Korean Central News Agency vowed to stand behind the new leader and defend him "unto death."

For its part, the United States is waiting for the new regime to make the next move. Any decision on moving forward with discussions over issues such as food aid and their nuclear program will have to wait.

"I don't think there's any substantive change from where we were just before the new year," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said recently, "which is that we're waiting to hear from the North Korean side."

With governments and experts alike reading the tea leaves of what the future on the Korean peninsula may hold, there are some early signs and questions to keep an eye on as to how things may bear out.
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Filed under: China • Kim Jong Il • Kim Jong Un • North Korea • Nuclear • Six-Party Talks • South Korea
Finally, a word about national security (a debate, actually)...
November 7th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Finally, a word about national security (a debate, actually)...

Without question, the public's attention in the race for the White House has centered on the economy and domestic issues.  It’s a sign of how things have changed since the start of these post-September 11th times.  In 2004 and 2008, a good portion of the discussion focused on keeping American safe and foreign policy. But things began to shift as the 2008 election was wrapping up and the economy was hurting.

Now there is no question the campaign talk has moved from 9/11 to 9-9-9 (and other economic plans). A fact not lost on the Republican candidates who spend little time talking about national security issues.  Debate after debate, interview after interview, domestic issues have dominated the campaign so far.  Until now.

On November 22, CNN, along with AEI and The Heritage Foundation, will host a Republican candidate debate focused on national security topics.

In the run-up to the debate, Security Clearance asked both the sponsoring conservative think tanks to look at the key foreign policy issues and tell us what they want to hear candidates address. From Afghanistan toIraq,ChinatoSyria, cybersecurity to defense spending, the folks at Heritage Foundation and AEI will make sure you are fully prepped for the big debate.

The first in the series will publish today on Security Clearance.  For more coverage of the campaign, don't forget to read CNN's Political Ticker and our political section on CNN.com.

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Clinton: Time to "lock in" Asia-Pacific investment
October 11th, 2011
10:57 AM ET

Clinton: Time to "lock in" Asia-Pacific investment

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for an even greater investment in Asia, as the United States pivots from Iraq and Afghanistan,

"One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment - diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise - in the Asia-Pacific region," Clinton writes in an essay just published by Foreign Policy.

The essay, called "America's Pacific Century, published ahead of this week's State visit by South Korean President  Lee Myung-bak, comes at a time when many in Congress are calling for a pullback on U.S. efforts and spending abroad.  Clinton, bluntly, says such calls are "misguided". South Korea alone is stuck in U.S. political quagmire with a hold on the nomination for U.S. ambassador to Seoul (more on that soon on Security Clearance) and a final vote still needed for the trade deal with the Koreans.

"With Iraq and Afghanistan still in transition and serious economic challenges in our own country, there are those on the American political scene who are calling for us not to reposition, but to come home.  They seek a downsizing of our foreign engagement in favor of our pressing domestic priorities. These impulses are understandable, but they are misguided. Those who say that we can no longer afford to engage with the world have it exactly backward - we cannot afford not to," Clinton writes.

READ THE ESSAY ON FOREIGNPOLICY.COM

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Asia • Clinton • Diplomacy • Foreign Policy • Hillary Clinton • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Japan • North Korea • Secretary of State • South Korea • South Korea • State Department
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