Last week’s “sports diplomacy” between South and North Korean negotiators—the first direct dialogue in more than two years—was a good first step in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, along with news that the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises will be delayed until late April, has produced a rare window of opportunity for diplomatic progress.
North Korea’s successful test of a new intercontinental missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland has escalated an already dangerous standoff. After the Hwasong-15 missile soared 2,800 miles high and then crashed in waters off Japan, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now has the ability to hit "everywhere in the world, basically."
The U.S. plans to continue diplomatic and military support for African nations but expects its counterparts to step up significantly in areas ranging from fighting corruption to countering terrorism and stopping arms purchases from North Korea, U.S. officials said during a symposium at the U.S. Institute of Peace.