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?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.