December 13, 2016

4 Ways Trump Can Avoid a North Korea Disaster

By Dr. Patrick M. Cronin

The impeachment of President Park Geun-hye plunges South Korea deeper into political turmoil. Anticipating another North Korean provocation, Defense Minister Han Min-koo called on Thursday for heightened vigilance among the Republic of Korea (ROK) armed forces. But it will be left largely to incoming U.S. President Donald Trump to steer us through the looming mayhem.

The South Korean National Assembly voted 234-56 on Friday to impeach Park for her corruption scandal. With roughly half of the ruling Saenuri Party members defecting to join opposition forces in favor of impeachment, it’s now up to a Constitutional Court to validate the vote and either pave the way for early elections or restore Park’s powers.

In the midst of Korea’s abrupt and potentially sharp political transition (the leading presidential candidate, left-leaning Moon Jae-in, promises to undo some of Park’s recent security policy decisions, including on missile defense and intelligence cooperation with Japan), the United States will make a critical political transition of its own on January 20, when Barack Obama hands over the keys to the White House to Donald Trump.

Read the full piece at The Diplomat.

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