Kim Jong Un

Tensions in North Korea over new United Nations sanctions, elections in Kenya with candidates accused of war crimes, and ongoing efforts to free peacekeepers seized by Syrian rebels are just some of the latest stories from around the world. We discuss the top international headlines with a panel of experts.

Michael Nacht, Thomas and Alison Schneider professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, former Aaron Wildavsky dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and former assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs
Isobel Coleman, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations
James Kitfield, senior correspondent for National Journal

  • Ron

    Is it possible that North Korea is in part a sock puppet of China’s crazy military and security apparatus? Maybe they use NK to intimidate their enemies.

  • Neko

    Somebody should rewrite the Yo Mama jokes for North Korea.

    Man, North Korea so poor, it got to import all its smog from China.

    Man, North Korea so poor, people at the internment camps say “At least I *got* a job.”

    Man, Kim Jung Un so fat, when he calls the ambulance, the send a pick up truck.

  • Chemist150

    Would the US & UN consider significantly easing sanctions on North Korea if North Korea offered a permanent peace treaty with South Korea?

    Abused children lash out. Being friends with abused children find their more tender sides and ease stress. Obviously North Korea is going to develop nuclear weapons. If we aren’t going to take out the whole country which I’m against, is constantly straining their economy the right message? We have the power to stop the food shortages there among other things. We are attacking innocent people with sanctions.

  • Chris OConnell

    Alright, North Korea is making a lot of noise and threatening the US. That is one country where I would support regime change. I guess we are not able to pull it off. Everything else is mostly irrelevant to US security: Afghanistan, Syria, Kenya and the huge set of global problems are not our problems to solve.

    The real problem is we think we own the world and so all of these events become our problems to solve. Unfortunately, we are a lot better at creating many of these problems than solving them.


    As one of the so called by G W Bush AXIS OF EVIL North Korea out smarted the U S by making a nuclear bomb soon after Bush infamous words…Look at the totally destroyed country of Iraq and the untouched state3 of N Korea….Tells how foolish the U S foreign policies .

    • Chris OConnell

      Good point. I would add Libya to the equation as well. After Iraq, Gadhafi renounced WMDs and destroyed what he had under pressure from the US and the West and look at the thanks that he got for that! No doubt this is a lesson for all to see (except Americans who are pretty clueless about international relations).

      • EIDALM

        You quite correct . The American people are the other victims and have you heard Al Gore statement this morning saying in effect inequality in the U S exceeds that in Egpt but we had millions if Egyptians in the street to demand their country back ,the American people are sleeping at the wheel.

  • This was good radio that i could very much appreciate. But, and you know there has to be a but, it is somewhat limited in its worldview. It is decidedly seen from an American perspective, or more correctly a United-States-centric perpective since most in the American hemisphere are not United States citizens. Even more, everyone in this conversation truly believes that the US is the superpower of the world whose responsibility includes policing the world, and ensuring “stability” in the many far-flung regions of the earth. It is an Imperial Conversation! But a good one. And I think it is fair to say that everyone in this conversation thinks the United States is motivated by good-ness in all of its international machinations.

    It made me think of John Mearsheimer, who is an outstanding foreign policy analyst and academic. He is a leading scholar, and very plain-spoken for the layman, too. But he wrote a book with Stephen Walt about the Israeli Lobby and thus is not allowed out to play anymore. Before the book, he had about 10 op-eds published in the New York times. Since the book, nothing, nada. They won’t publish him. But forget Israel, he has very important things to say about foreign policy generally, and the many other world conflicts as well.

    I know there was a strong pitch for Michelle Alexander as a guest, but let me recommend John Mearsheimer. He does bring a different perspective but a very respectable and cogent one. See for example:

    He would have been useful today to throw some cold water on the fantasy thinking that the US can control the world. Or that we are motivated by something other than cold national self-interest and power relations. There is nothing wrong with such motives, they are perfectly natural. But we must be honest about it.

    • thucy


      I think it’s great that you advocate strongly for a guest on the public comment section – why not get both speakers, provided they have availability?

      But I don’t know that you’re entirely right that Mearsheimer was shut out by the Times after publishing the book. The Times gave the book itself extensive coverage – three book reviews, and several follow-up articles, including one by the late NYRB celebrity Tony Judt.

      If they didn’t find the book noteworthy, trust me, they would simply have ignored it. The reviews, favorable and not, boosted book sales. And NPR continues to give Mearsheim a platform.

      I don’t know whether you read the Times still – they did something on their blog “The Stone” today or yesterday on Mearsheimer’s topic.

      • Chris OConnell

        (Posting from different log-in.) Yes, I read the NY Times still and value it. I also love to criticize the Times along with everyone else. And I saw that amazing piece on the Stone about the philosophical problem, you could say, of the Jewish State.

        It is actually Mearsheimer himself, not me, who claims that the Times shuts him out. They used to solicit articles by him from time to time, now they won’t publish him. Period. He can only assume it is related to the book.

        • thucy

          Yeah, I hear you. I re-read two of the book reviews from the Times. I think they tried hard to present the book in a good light – and they did. NYT had a difficult position – I learned living in New York to tread very carefully on the subject, because it was so toxic. I really miss New York, and I miss how people loudly and unapologetically spoke their minds. But I don’t miss grappling with that topic – partic. after 9/11 everyone was beyond reactionary on the subject of Israel. A lot of longtime friendships became fraught. As the wars started (and ground on) it really didn’t become less fraught.

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