FROM Max Fisher
Is North Korea getting ready for nuclear war? Last Friday, North Korea took the rest of the world by surprise by detonating a nuclear explosion more than twice as large as the one it tested just eight months ago. Increased economic sanctions haven't worked. The speed of development and defiance of international retaliation are giving new urgency to old questions: do the US and its allies really know what Kim Jong Un is up to? Is our understanding of this country fundamentally wrong? The consensus has been that his nuclear program was more political than military — designed for internal consumption and international show. We hear some new assessments of what's at risk for the world.
Tensions with North Korea Continue North Korea has warned any foreigners in South Korea to prepare to evacuate in case of war. The US Pacific Commander, Admiral Samuel Locklear, told the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that there's a "direct threat to US national security and regional peace and stability." Max Fisher is foreign affairs blogger with the Washington Post .
Foreign Affairs and the Race to the White House On Monday, the last presidential debate of the 2012 campaign will center on foreign policy. A list of topics has been agreed upon, but with surprises cropping up in the world every day, we know that the rules for presidential debates are made to be broken. The latest point of contention is the deadly attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Republicans call President Obama a "weak leader." Democrats say Mitt Romney 's view of America's role in the world is "delusional." But, over all, are they really so different? Does Obama look more like George W. Bush than he might concede? Would Romney look a lot like Obama?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?