When faced with an enemy or adversary, when is it better to charm and befriend, and when to threaten and snarl? The question bedevils leaders who fear to be seen either as weak or as a bully. In the context of North Korea, Iran and Myanmar, however, the world has long seen the shortcomings and often perverse repercussions of policies that stress punishment, sanctions and threats. It is time to take a closer look at the strategic possibilities offered by policies of engagement.
The idea of engaging adversaries in order to achieve peaceful international relations is often risky, but it may be the best hope for resolving thorny challenges posed by countries such as North Korea and Iran. By Mel Gurtov
The US should promote engagement between American and North Korean academic scientists as a path to drawing the North closer to the international community. By Stuart J. Thorson and Hyunjin Seo
The US has imposed the most comprehensive unilateral sanctions regime in history against Iran, despite Washington's insistence that it is also pursuing diplomatic efforts to resolve differences over Iran's nuclear program. By Trita Parsi
The core meaning of constructive engagement lies in the role that domestic politics plays in a country that wishes to engage an adversary, as well as in those countries being engaged. By Miroslav Nincic
Years of ignorant, pride-driven foreign policy have characterized relations in Northeast Asia, and this is amply evident in the continuing standoff over North Korea's nuclear program. By Walter C. Clemens, Jr.
The debate over humanitarian assistance, and in particular food aid, for North Korea has for years been bedeviled by disagreements over whether that assistance should be linked to engagement in other areas such as security issues. By Karin J. Lee
Andrei Lankov argues that exposing the country to information and people from the outside world can spur change from within, in much the same way that communist Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union were changed by exposure to the West.
The Kaesong Industrial Complex continues to play an important role in North-South relations. Troy Stangarone takes a look at the industrial zone and the South Korean government’s ambitions for it. By Troy Stangarone
Myanmar's ongoing democratic transformation has been driven by a dizzying number of factors: internal forces in the military, democratic activism, domestic struggle and both soft pressure and hard sanctions from countries abroad. By Nicholas Farrelly
The need for Malaysians to move on after a fractious, bitter general election is paramount. Once the courts settle any election complaints, reconciliation is possible. By Khairy Jamaluddin
Prime Minister Najib Razak is failing to learn the biggest lesson of the election, that the voters have unambiguously demanded political, electoral and media reforms. By Rafizi Ramli
The Bank of Japan’s decision to pump vast sums of money into the country’s financial system is fraught with risks that could backfire, harming the global economy. By Gongpil Choi
Shinzo Abe's early and aggressive moves to boost the economy appeared to work, but another side of Abe re-emerged with force: an ideological, nationalist one that many inside and outside of Japan see as less than beautiful. By Cheol Hee Park
On visits to North Korea since Kim Jong Un came to power, Rüdiger Frank has seen growing evidence of a more diverse and cash-based economy. By Rüdiger Frank
Despite the escalation of South China Sea tension, negotiated solutions are possible if China recognizes that it is better off pursuing negotiations rather than insisting on maritime claims that are not in line with international law. By Stein Tønnesson
One way to deal with the South China Sea conflict is to explore the various formulas for joint development of the area in a fair and co-operative manner. By Mark J. Valencia and Hong Nong
Regional Disorder: The South China Sea Disputes, is the most authoritative and up-to-date analysis existing of the complex disputes that have marred China's relationship with the ASEAN, the United States, India and Japan. By Stein Tønnesson
Short reviews of North Korea in Transition: Politics, Economy, and Society, edited by Kyung-Ae Park and Scott Snyder; Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, by Robert W. McChesney, etc. By John Delury