Out of Order: North Korea, the U.S. and a Bunch of Nervous Allies
President Trump’s overtures to North Korea represent perhaps the most significant foreign policy development so far during his administration. In addition to marking a departure in how authoritarian regimes are treated by the world’s major power, recent developments have the potential to transform the balance of power in Asia. While there is some relief after the days of "fire and fury" threats, U.S. allies around the world are also nervous. Host Peter Sparding talks to Andrew Small and Jamie Fly in Washington, and Janka Oertel in Berlin, about the summit and its implications.
After recapping and assessing the summit and its results, the discussion opens with a tour around the region, as the panel discusses how recent developments look from China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Is China the main beneficiary of the new thaw between Washington and Pyeongyang? How does this fit into the larger U.S. strategy towards the Asia-Pacific or is there no coherent strategy? What is driving the debate in South Korea? Does Japan worry about being cut out from any deal? What are the North Koreans hoping to achieve? The debate then shifts to the question of whether Trump’s approach to foreign policy makes the world safer for authoritarians. What are the implications of the president’s behavior towards allies vis-à-vis the attitude shown towards Kim Jong-un? What does it say about the determinants and persistence of U.S. foreign policy that public opinion among supporters of the president seems to be shifting quickly? How do countries in Europe view the developments and do they factor into their own calculations about the U.S. as a reliable partner? Finally, Peter asks each of the panelists for their predictions of how things will play out over the coming months and years.