China Re-Enters the Korean Field of Play

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow.

Highlights

  • Through a top-level meeting with North Korea, China is signaling it will not be a bystander in the evolving dynamics on the Korean Peninsula.
  • China may have an opening to restore its long-frosty relations with South Korea by extending outreach on trade measures.
  • Both North Korea and South Korea have an interest in including China to some extent in their evolving diplomatic dynamic.

Following days of heightened speculation about who was aboard a mystery train that traveled from Pyongyang to Beijing, China confirmed on March 28 that it hosted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week.

(-/AFP/Getty Images)

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In the Middle East, Russia Seems to Be Everywhere

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Russia’s growing prominence in the Middle East was on full display Dec. 11 when Vladimir Putin visited three key Middle Eastern countries in one day. The Russian president followed a surprise trip to Syria with a quick stop in Egypt before ending his day’s travels in Turkey. He met with his presidential counterparts in all three countries, and the economic deals, military agreements and political settlements he discussed highlighted Russia’s role in the region. While Russia has its own reasons for bolstering its relationships with Syria, Egypt and Turkey, it also benefits from being visible where its regional rival, the United States, is not.

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