The new decade began inauspiciously with the tragic 2 January crash of a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter carrying the Taiwanese Chief of Staff General Shen Yi-ming, among others. A day later, an American drone strike killed the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. General Shen was responsible for Taiwan’s efforts to strengthen its air power in the face of China’s rise; Soleimani led the Quds Force, a clandestine unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps which specialises in unconventional warfare and sponsors terrorism as part of its operations.
Recent months have seen a notable change in diplomatic relations between the American President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In 2017, ‘culturally-charged insults’ like ‘little rocket man’ and a ‘frightened dog’ were exchanged. Lately, however, the rhetoric between the two leaders has become significantly less hostile, as is evident from Trump’s description of Kim as ‘very honourable’ in April 2018.
In the months since part one of this article was published, a good deal has changed – at least on the surface – in the relationship between the US and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Tensions, in the main, have eased. The 12 June summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has begun. The talks are a historic moment, marking the first time a sitting US president has met with a DPRK leader. This article briefly summarises Trump and Kim’s aims for the negotiations, before analysing Britain’s options in the situation.
The war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is as hypnotising as it is terrifying. The verbal escalation in recent months reveals a dangerous level of ignorance from both Trump and Kim about the other’s culture.