World International Affairs The United States and North Korea have embarked on an unprecedented path toward peace, but as negotiations begin to slow down, a rift between two of Washington’s closest Pacific allies could present a major spoiler to realizing peace in the region. Conservative Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was one of the most enthusiastic world leaders to congratulate President Donald Trump upon his surprise election victory two years ago and became the first head of state to visit him at Trump Tower only days later. These ties have grown strained at times, however, as Trump abandoned a Pacific trade deal and pursued a widely-unexpected overture toward North Korea—which has continued to threaten Japan near-daily in spite of warming up to the U.S. and South Korea. In a stark contrast to the “fire and fury” threats lobbed last year, Trump appears to have adopted a softer tone more similar to that of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal politician also not shy to express his newfound affection for North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un. As the contemporary courses taken by Seoul and Tokyo diverge, an old wound from their painful history was recently reopened by South Korea’s highest judiciary. South… Read full this story
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