Open Forum

The first two months of 2019 have been an anxious time in DC, not only because of the suspense over government shutdowns but also because of the uncertainty over major forthcoming events. There is far more alarm being registered in anticipation of the second Trump-Kim summit than in the run-up to the Singapore summit. The trade talks with China could produce a genuine trade war or, more likely, a breakthrough that satisfies Trump but not many others in DC. In one of the biggest setbacks to US-Japan relations in decades, Abe was exposed as a hypocrite, obliged to please Trump in the most craven manner by writing a glowing recommendation for Trump to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The move was seen as a desperate attempt to forestall tariffs on Japanese automobiles in what would become a US-Japan trade showdown, inadvertently supporting the very diplomacy to North Korea that the Japanese government and much of the public fear will sell out Japan’s national interests. On the surface, Trump and Moon appeared to be on the same page in their diplomacy toward the North and Moon only had to settle for an 8 percent increase in the cost for host nation support in the Special Measures Agreement, albeit for only a one-year renewal. Yet, distrust of Moon in DC is widespread, leaving bilateral relations in limbo.

Read full article at
facebook share twitter share google+ share