Trump's Anti-nuclear Playbook Looks Like Obama's

Imposing United Nations sanctions on North Korea is the first major foreign policy success of the Donald Trump administration. The effort has a chance of working, provided Trump keeps following a model borrowed from President Barack Obama's dealings with Iran. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And the only way to pressure a nuclear or near-nuclear power to the table is with economic sanctions that weaken the regime without threatening its existence.To get the U.N. Security Council to act against North Korea, Trump needed both China and Russia to agree, or at least to not veto the sanctions. Equally important, he now needs North Korea's two major trading partners to implement the restrictions. Those partners happen to be -- you guessed it -- China and Russia.It was a deft diplomatic achievement to get the Chinese and the Russians to the first step. Trump's team was helped by the fact that China doesn't want the regional or even global destabilization that North Korea is threatening with its nuclear missile expansion. And Russia was not going to stand alone with North Korea once China was on board.  Continue reading...

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