At Mar-a-Lago, Focus on North Korea

Donald Trump, Xi Jinping

The Trump administration is dealing with a lot. Just consider the agenda this week: a nuclear war for its Supreme Court nominee on Capitol Hill, dueling investigations and political fights over contacts with Russia and the previous administration’s handling of intelligence, a renewed push on health care, a visit of the President of Egypt and the King of Jordan to discuss peace in the Middle East, and of course the two-day visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Mar-a-Lago.

Korea on the Brink

Protesters gather and occupy major streets in the city center for a rally against South Korean President Park Geun-hye on December 3

The speed of now-former South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s spectacular fall from power took many foreign observers by surprise. After all, the initial reports last autumn that were to snowball into a generational political crisis seemed pretty bland. The daughter of the president’s family friend and “spiritual adviser” Choi Soon-sil had apparently been accepted into a prestigious women’s university as a result of political pressure. An “equestrian scholarship” had been invented as a pretext for getting her in despite comparatively weak grades. Students at the school—not fans of the conservative president, unsurprisingly—were protesting.