The experts in this volume have thoughtfully addressed themes that are pervasive throughout Asia and are timely for the U.S.-Korea alliance. Kim Jong-un’s turn to diplomacy in 2018 put the spotlight on the United States and the two Koreas to reach a solution to the North Korea nuclear issues issue.
The authors in the first section, however, analyze another important trio of countries—North Korea, Russia, and China—which could significantly influence the ongoing talks among Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang. The second section analyzes another recent major shift in the region, namely the increase of foreign government interference in domestic affairs amid a decline in values-driven diplomacy. Authors in this section assess Beijing’s efforts to influence domestic actors in key democratic partners as well as similar actions taken by Pyongyang in South Korea. As Trump elapses two years in office, the penultimate section examines the impact of Washington’s “America First” economic policies on the region so far. The chapters in the final section provide overviews of media reactions in South Korea, Japan, Russia, and China to the lack of an agreement resulting from the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, highlighting key concerns and preferences for the diplomatic path forward of each country.