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  • North Korea

    Reducing Nuclear Arsenal Would Shift U.S. Target Options

    President Obama wants to reduce the nuclear arsenal to as little as 300 warheads. While this might seem like a lot, the targeting list is evolving more rapidly than at any point in history. The United States has more enemies than ever before and provides nuclear security guarantees to more … More

    Japan’s Inability to Make Decisions

    Draconian defense budget cuts of at least $450 billion—and possibly as much as $1.2 trillion under sequestration—are casting doubt on the U.S. commitment to peace and security in the Asia–Pacific. Japan’s inability to come to agreement with its principle ally complicates this already disconcerting picture. It only increases insecurity in … More

    Chart of the Week: How Countries Compare on Economic Freedom

    Heritage and the Wall Street Journal released the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom on Thursday, ranking 179 countries on 10 benchmarks that gauge their economic success. This year Heritage introduced a new interactive feature that gives you the opportunity to create a comparative graph. This week’s chart shows how the … More

    North vs. South: How Economic Freedom Impacts Korea

    Real life can never give social scientists the kind of laboratory-quality tests that natural scientists can create, but sometimes it comes close. Since the two Koreas–North and South–are virtually identical culturally, it would appear that the different political systems explain the outcome illustrated by the figure below, which comes from last … More

    Cuban and Chinese Bloggers Speak on Havel's Greatness, Kim's Tyranny

    The reaction of bloggers in two remaining communist dictatorships to the recent deaths of pro-freedom crusader Vaclav Havel and his polar opposite, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Il, tells you all you need to know about why communists can’t hold elections. In the restricted cyberspace afforded to Chinese and Cubans … More

    PODCAST: Kim Jong-Un and North Korea

    In this week’s Heritage in Focus, expert Bruce Klingner discusses all the latest surrounding North Korea and the death of Kim Jong Il. Click here to listen. Will Kim Jong-Un, Kim Jong Il’s son, lead North Korea down the same path? How are relations with the U.S. and South Korea affected by Kim … More

    Cuba, North Korea, and Vaclav Havel

    On learning of the death of Kim Jong-il, Cuban authorities immediately declared three days of official mourning. Their action underscored longstanding ties of intimacy between two of the world’s most oppressive, most anti-American regimes. The death of North Korea’s tyrant also evoked a feeling that the Cuba of Fidel Castro, … More

    Morning Bell: The Death of Kim Jong-il

    North Korea’s official media announced that Kim Jong-il, the country’s long-time leader, died on Saturday of “physical and mental overwork.” Although Kim had several health problems, particularly after a stroke in August 2008, he had appeared vibrant in recent meetings. As such, the surprise development raises concerns about its impact … More

    No Breakthrough with North Korea

    Ambassador Stephen Bosworth was typically cryptic in his remarks after concluding two days of meetings last week with North Korean counterparts. Bosworth stated that the bilateral talks were “moving in the right direction [since] we have made some progress.” He added that the tone of the meetings was “positive and … More

    The Decline and Fall of Obama's Foreign Policy Czars

    Whatever became of President Barack Obama’s vaunted foreign policy czars, who were to transform America’s international relations through soft power diplomacy? The answer is nothing good. One by one the czars have fallen by the wayside, leaving a trail of bureaucratic irritation and diplomatic failure behind them. The Administration now … More