What a Trump-Kim deal may look like

The on-again, off-again summit between United States (US) President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now appears increasingly likely to take place but it’s not yet clear what kind of agreement, if any, the two leaders will be able to reach.North Korea has ruled out the so-called “Libya model” where it loads its nuclear program onto planes bound for the US right away, with Kim saying Thursday the issue should be “solved on a stage-by-stage basis.” Trump insists that the end goa

1 June 2018

Trump & Kim summit: Opening of new doors

The once irrefutable fact that North Korea is closed from others across the globe is now a thing of the past. Akin to a persona non grata before, the country is now slowly turning heads and is aiming to be accepted by the international community.

28 May 2018

Trump pivots again on Kim summit

United States (US) President Donald Trump pivoted from his abrupt cancellation of a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it may still happen on the originally scheduled 12 June date.Trump told reporters on his way to board the presidential helicopter that US officials are in talks with North Korea after the country’s “very nice statement” on Friday.“We are talking to them now,” Trump said Friday, adding that the summit with Kim may proceed and “it could even be the 12th

26 May 2018

Thailand developing closer ties with the US

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia to have never been colonised. It is perhaps a testament to the strength and resilience of the country in doing away with any foreign interference on its shores. However, Thailand has had interactions with colonial powers before, as can be seen when the United States of America (US) established relations with then Siam in 1818. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which formalised diplomatic relations, was also signed by both countries in 1833.

24 May 2018

Why the US needs Australia in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia has been a significant venue for strategic competition between the United States (US) and China for a long time. The great power tussle between the two is best conceptualised in the dual hierarchy model posited by Princeton University Professor of International Affairs, Gilford John Ikenberry.

19 April 2018

Why China won’t yield to Trump

Last month, US President Donald Trump enacted steel and aluminum tariffs aimed squarely at China. On April 2, China retaliated with tariffs on 128 American products. Trump then announced 25% tariffs on another 1,300 Chinese products, representing some $50 billion of exports.

18 April 2018

Impact of US-led airstrikes in Syria on East Asian geopolitics

At approximately 4 a.m. Syrian time, a unilateral US-led effort joined by the French and British, launched more than 100 missiles towards the Syrian capital of Damascus. The primary targets – two chemical weapons storage and production sites and another research facility said to be involved in the development of chemical weapons. The strikes come as a response to the alleged chemical weapons attack by the ruling regime, on civilians in the Damascus enclave of Douma.

16 April 2018

The geopolitics behind environmental protection

Environmental issues like climate change and greenhouse gas emissions have come to shape the global agenda for the future. The logic it follows is simple – no environment, no humanity. This concern was most urgently dealt with on a cold winters’ day in December 2015 in Paris when the leaders of 195 countries agreed to adopt the world’s first ever universal global climate deal.

1 April 2018

What does the Indo Pacific era hold in store for ASEAN?

The term Indo Pacific gained a lot of traction after the President of the United States (US), Donald Trump, used it repeatedly to highlight his country’s foreign policy posture in this region as opposed to the regularly used term, Asia Pacific.

23 March 2018

The geopolitics behind free trade

During a free trade forum at the Wilson Centre in 2014, United States (US) Trade Representative, Michael Froman addressed a crowd on America’s commitment to free trade.“By leading on trade, we can carry forward the torch that President Wilson held up a century ago, when he said, ‘The time for provincial thinkers has gone by.

17 March 2018

Trump plans historic meeting with Kim Jong Un

United States (US) President Donald Trump’s planned historic meeting with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un has raised more questions than answers. By the look of things, it seems like we are finally reaching rapprochement between both sides – a feud which stretches back to the Cold War era. However, the conditions under which these talks are taking place does raise an ire of suspicion.

12 March 2018