Written by Stephan Haggard.
It is hard to know which country would be the first to challenge the Trump administration with a serious foreign policy crisis, but North Korea was clearly a candidate. With Kim Jong Un’s personal promise to test when he felt like it in his New Year’s speech and Trump’s “not going to happen,” it seemed like a good bet that Pyongyang would provide an early test. But as Secretary of Defense Mattis heads to the Asia-Pacific to reassure Japan and Korea on the alliances, the real test may be more subtle: subtle Chinese pressure on South Korea to reverse its commitment to deploy a missile-defense system called THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Areas Defense). Continue reading “China, South Korea, the U.S. and THAAD”