Several people have asked me what I think about the situation in Korea (i.e. the posturing by North Korea) though, it is worth noting, I have no particular expertise in North-South relations. But my sense from reading those that do is that this is not a crisis but instead the theatrical periodic demand of the North to be taken seriously and to have attention. respect, and possibly funds focused on it. I am persuaded that North Korea acts rationally, though I think it does indeed represent a danger not just to Asian peace but especially in terms of global weapons proliferation. So far everybody is playing their scripted part--the sabre rattling of the North is met with enhanced levels of readiness, stern words from ROK and American leaders, reaffirmed support for ROK and Japanese security, further apocalyptic threats from the North. Obama, not dramatic by nature and not stupid and rigid like Bush, is unlikely to feed the issue (one good sign is that John Bolton is warning of doom, surely that is a sign that Obama is doing something right). Now it is just a matter of cycling it down and avoiding even the naval clashes that have of late been the main focus of conflict. Of course, the whole game is a bit more dangerous when there are nukes involved...


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