Can Moon Jae-In Remove the Stumbling Blocks to Peace in Korea?

Donald Trump is the unknown factor in the South Korean president’s peace diplomacy. Friday 27 April 2018 was a new historic day for Korea. Even before he had completed the first year of his five-year term as president of South Korea, the 65-year-old human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in succeeded in holding a summit with the young… Read more »

Why a War with North Korea Is Unlikely

Here are three scenarios for the North Korean crisis: The recent flurry of threats between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump has caused much consternation. Threats can indeed be dangerous but only when they are followed up by hostile action. The latest important developments in this crisis have been North Korea’s July 4 and July 28… Read more »

Can the East Asian Peace Survive?

Uncertainty concerning President Donald Trump’s China and North Korea policies have instilled new fears of war in East Asia, a region that has enjoyed a surprising level of peace for almost four decades. Yet, if China treats Trump with care, the region may remain peaceful. The text in this post is a slightly modified version… Read more »

Is China helping Trump, or is Trump helping China?

When Chinese president Xi Jinping met US president Donald Trump in Florida on 6–7 April, Xi convinced his host that it is not easy to exert influence on North Korea, but apparently promised to help the United States to the best of his ability. In practice, it may be Trump who helps China. Following the summit at… Read more »

East Asian Peace: Telling Japan to be Proud

To a Tokyo audience of Japanese peace practitioners, academics, journalists and diplomats, I recently chose to address the Japanese as East Asians. I had three important messages to convey: You East Asians have a Peace to Defend The East Asian Peace is at Risk Please overcome your differences and aim for an East Asian Security Community… Read more »

Playing Chinese Whispers with a Megaphone

These days, a press conference at the White House is cringe TV. President Trump greeting world leaders may leave unfortunate viewers squirming in front of the screen. It’s an experience simultaneously entertaining and unpleasant. One thing that already has generated countless internet memes and analyses among the Twitterati is Trump’s handshake. When the American president… Read more »

Trump and Threats to Truth, Democracy and Peace

Stein Tønnesson delivered this year’s The Fjord Memorial Lecture  at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer. The lecture discusses Trump’s team of advisors, calls for fighting the increasing use of lies in political campaigning, sees Trump’s election as having weakened democracy worldwide, and perceives a major risk to world peace. Tønnesson ends the lecture… Read more »

With Orwell to the West Bank

The United States under President Trump is not the only place where the rule of law is currently being put to the test. In early February hundreds of Israeli police officers battled on the West Bank with hundreds of determined young protesters armed with stones. Sixteen police officers were injured in clashes with the demonstrators,… Read more »