Many hope an agreement on the TPP will provide a much-needed boost to a still prostrate global economy, but what is being widely hailed as profound progress in the evolution of trade integration globally is having the opposite effect in Latin America.
In a previous blog, with tongue in cheek, I suggested that Jay Gatsby and his excessive West Egg style might be a distant ancestor of Psy and his gaudy "Gangnam Style." I showed the graph to my students and asked if we could fill in a third column for Psy. This is what we came up with.
Adults thought they had the upper hand when they started spying openly on the teens around them and recording their adolescent antics using the #followateen hashtag.
What was remarkable about the visit was how unremarkable it was. The lack of outward concern, the minimal departure from the daily routine, the refusal to stop traveling, reveling, shopping and dining -- this was as revealing as any protest could have been about life in South Korea.
There is, indeed, a bomb waiting to go off on the Korean Peninsula, but it is not of the Kim Jong-un's making. Seoul and its allies in the U.S. and elsewhere must give equal -- if not greater emphasis -- to the very real and complex crisis that might cause the Korean economic miracle to implode.
Perhaps Obama should be more careful about what he calls a "red line." Dictators are not impressed by empty threats. Would there be support for a multi-national effort to secure chemical weapons stores?
IHS noted that about 66 percent of the world's NAND flash and 70 percent of the tablet display manufacturing takes place in South Korea. So any outbreak of hostilities would result in the immediate halt of smartphone, tablet and computer manufacturing worldwide.
At a train station in Daejeon, I linger over goodbye. It has already taken a few hours. I don't want to leave. The speakers announce that it's time to head to my platform. Chris doesn't need my translation to know it's time to go. He leans in for a kiss. "I can't," I say, gently pushing him back.
If war were to break out, the presumed influx of refugees into Russia could create a humanitarian crisis and a burdensome price tag for the Kremlin -- just as it would for China. Russia is similarly vulnerable to any radiation that may blow from the peninsula on to Russian territory.
For now, the best course of action is minimalism. There's no need to keep announcing that North Korea's nuclear and missile tests are unacceptable: Kim knows this.
I wonder if the current crisis with North Korea might just end around the time that Exercise Foal Eagle does. That's this year's annual joint military exercise by the U.S. and South Korea, running from March 1 through April 30.
The last thing the Chinese want is either a greater American military or naval presence in Northeast Asia or refugee flows from a collapsing North Korean government. We want Beijing to urge the North to the table in the proper frame of mind, using influence only they have.
I've seen this product countless times before. I remember buying it, in fact, a few years ago. I ingested it and convinced others of its potency, of its value as a product. So what's different about it this time? What's it doing back on the shelf, a seemingly old product with a new label?
South Korea is always in a state of war with its Northern neighbor. Today is no different from yesterday, last year, or even 10 years ago. Tomorrow, next week, next year will follow the same pattern.
Is the current Kim really ready to attack any of his neighbors just to prove that he really is crazy? Even if he could escape utter destruction, what would he possibly accomplish?
As much as some U.S. policymakers and most American experts detest diplomacy with Pyongyang, they now face a pressing issue that has upended their earlier calculations. The U.S. must rely on diplomacy once again.