When U.S. President Donald Trump told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that the U.S. had two submarines in the waters near Korea, it began a controversy over whether sharing the subs’ location was a leak of classified information and a security risk. A submarine’s ability to remain hidden is its greatest ...

For more than a decade, Asian countries have been on a submarine spending spree. Some countries are updating obsolete vessels while others are purchasing submarines for the first time. This trend has largely been driven by growing concerns nations have over maintaining a deterrent against an increasingly assertive China broadly, ...

Defense spending across Asia has increased substantially during the past 10 years, and looks to continue growing apace into the 2020s. Nowhere is this more apparent than in plans to spend nearly $40 billion on submarines during the next decade, as estimated by Avascent Analytics’ Global Platforms and Systems database. ...

South Korea and Japan are attempting to maintain business as usual in their alliances with the U.S., but the Trump Administration has not made this easy. A gap between President Donald Trump’s unpredictable comments and the more measured statements of his top Cabinet members has made building relations difficult. As ...

Chinese rivalry with the U.S. for regional dominance will be central to U.S. East Asia policy for the incoming administration.  China’s aggressive use of economic leverage, its mercantilism and revanchism will continue to complicate U.S. relations with its main rival - and potential partner - in East Asia.  This is ...

In her first press briefing as Japan’s new Defense Minister, Tomomi Inada sidestepped questions over Japan’s actions in the Nanjing massacre during WWII, confirming for some the worst fears of Japan’s neighbors that she will bring a hawkish, conservative view to her new post. This comes at a time when ...

In antiquity, the overland route known as the Silk Road spanned impossible distances, connecting China and the rest of Asia with far flung markets in Africa and Western Europe through the trading hubs of the Middle East. Yet, as Western power rose and Chinese influence waned, this great trade route ...

Even before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, there has been a silk road in place between the Far East and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region for some time. Any visitor to Dubai will note the prominence of Chinese products in the markets. For the past ...

The recent North Korean nuclear test and the subsequent disguised long-range missile test have seriously cornered China. The world community, especially the United States and South Korea, have urged China to take decisive actions to “punish” Pyongyang’s flagrant challenges to international norms and rules. Beijing, however, is reluctant to impose ...

The United States and its allies believed their policy of “strategic patience” would allow them to wait for North Korea to denuclearize on its own, assuming sanctions and international pressure would ultimately force Pyongyang’s hand. However, five years later, with the most recent test of a nuclear bomb and the ...

In the wake of North Korea’s January nuclear test, White House spokesman Josh Earnest described U.S. goals for the Korean peninsula. “We want the North Koreans to end their provocative acts,” he said, “both in the form of missile tests and nuclear tests, to commit to denuclearization, and to demonstrate ...

Over four years have passed since Kim Jong-un took over the leadership of North Korea after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in late 2011. At the time, some hoped that Kim Jong-un’s young age and western education would lead him to set North Korea on a path toward ...

China’s less discussed territorial dispute is one that has the greatest potential for the United States to be drawn into conflict. While China has been more aggressive in building up military power in the South China Sea, for the past three years the Chinese have slowly been seizing control over ...

North Korean President Kim Jong Un announced Wednesday the successful test of what he claimed was a hydrogen bomb outside Pyongyang, and in doing so, angered the international community, including its closest ally, China.  Mike Chinoy, Senior Fellow at the U.S.-China Institute at USC, discussed with The Cipher Brief China’s likely ...

North Korea tested what was initially announced by Pyongyang to be a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday, though the Obama Administration is skeptical.    White House Spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, “the initial analysis is not consistent with North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test.”   Still, Pyongyang’s announcement has serious ...

South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s statements continue to confuse observers.  She has said that she is most interested in building trust with the North, but she has brought back ideas and government policies from the authoritarian past.  She suggests she is interested in peaceful reunification, but she does not talk ...

Amid all the uncertainties about North Korea’s unpredictable young leader, Kim Jong Un, one thing is clear: he has an unrelenting focus on security – his own personal security and the authoritarian regime’s security from external pressure. For personal security and to consolidate his hold on power, Kim – in power ...

While the end of the Cold War brought the reunification of East and West Germany, the Korean Peninsula has remained divided over the ensuing quarter century. For much of that time, Korean unification has been viewed through the lens of the economic costs of German unification, but in 2014, South ...

Twice last month, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea asked the United States of America to begin discussions on a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War. The problem, as Korea watcher Andrei Lankov has noted, is that Pyongyang does not want to include South Korea in the talks ...

Jim Schoff is a Senior Associate with the Carnegie Asia Program.  Schoff spoke with The Cipher Brief about Japan’s new national security law and its implications within East Asia. He says that with the expansion of the Japanese Self Defense Forces, military planning and cooperation in East Asia is likely ...

In late September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled his “three new arrows” of economic reform, indicating that the first phase of what is referred to as Abenomics was almost over. By ending the chronic deflationary trend, Abe is now expanding his focus beyond economic growth and addressing demographic issues ...

Thomas Cynkin spoke with The Cipher Brief about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent economic reforms. Dr. Cynkin discussed potential sectors of the Japanese economy that may prove lucrative for western investors as well as explained the benefits in investing in Japan over other East Asian countries. Dr. Cynkin is ...

This weekend, Japan’s legislature passed a new National Security Law that allows the Japanese Self Defense Forces (SDF) to use military action in foreign conflicts for the first time since World War II. The lower house of the Japanese Diet passed the bill in mid-July.   The vote was a ...