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Get Tough With North Korea

FT: Ireland proves Germany wrong. GlobalPost: Cambodia mourns its dead, again. Telegraph: American power shrinks as the world becomes more dangerous.

The US and China need a tough new strategy for North Korea

An editorial in the New York Times argues that a strong strategy is needed to respond to North Korea’s recent aggressive behavior. It states that the United States must do more to pressure China to recognize an “erratic” North Korea armed with nuclear weapons is problematic for the region.

QUOTE: For now, China, reinforced by United Nations sanctions, has the best chance of walking the North back from the brink. It must take the lead. But Washington must also re-engage.

Ireland proves Germany wrong

Columnist Martin Wolf writes in the Financial Times that the economic crisis in Ireland proves that Germany’s perspective on the eurozone is wrong. Unlike Greece, Ireland does not face problems because of “fiscal incontinence and economic inflexibility.” Ireland’s problems are a result of financial excesses.

QUOTE: The Irish case also shows that the German view of how the eurozone should work is mistaken: fiscal sloppiness is not the main problem and fiscal retrenchment and debt restructuring are not the sole solutions.

Sri Lanka must empower its entrepreneurs

Business Asia column editor Joseph Sternberg writes in the Wall Street Journal that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa risks damaging the country’s potential for developing its economy after the nation’s civil war by getting too involved. He argues that businesses should have the space to innovate and experiment.

QUOTE: Smart policy would be to step back and allow the private sector to play a leading role.

Cambodia mourns its dead, again

Contributor Terry McCoy writes in GlobalPost that this week’s stampede in Cambodia shows that nothing in the “genocide-ravaged, impoverished country” is safe from tragedy, not even its raucous holidays.

QUOTE:Soon, despite the tragedy of Monday night, the international community will become bored and the ghosts will be left to the Khmer alone. And if there’s anything Cambodia has become familiar with, it’s ghosts.

North Korea delivers a clear message

Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul, writes in the International Herald Tribune that North Korea is sending a very clear message to the international community. Its aggression says that it can be dangerous if it is not paid off.

QUOTE: So long as the Kim family stays in power — and it could be around for a long time — North Korea will remain a problem with no diplomatic solution. It survives by making trouble, since it has to make trouble just to stay afloat.

American power shrinks as the world becomes more dangerous

Nile Gardiner, a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator, writes in London’s Daily Telegraph that President Obama has failed to portray a strong foreign policy and only reflects the notion that America’s influence and power around the world is shrinking. American foreign policy has gone “AWOL,” he writes, just as North Korea unleashes its aggression and the world becomes increasingly dangerous.
QUOTE: The Obama administration’s “smart power” approach has been anything but, and the latest aggression emanating from Pyongyang is a stark reminder that America cannot afford to be letting its guard down, and needs to stand up to its enemies rather than appease them.

Myanmar’s nuclear ambitions may prove its downfall

Michael Green writes in Foreign Affairs that the political situation in Myanmar has worsened over the past few years as the generals have shown again and again that they refuse to negotiate or allow any political openness. He argues that there may still be opportunities to put pressure on the junta because Aung San Suu Kyi still holds tremendous influence, and the generals’ deals with North Korea have sparked international concern.

QUOTE: There is not yet clear evidence of any nuclear program or capability, but the evidence of intent is growing. If this newest crisis erupts as many expect, the United States will need to do a better job formulating a strategy that combines direct engagement with pressure and international diplomatic coordination.

Germany stays strong with family-owned manufacturing firms

Columnist Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post that Germany has managed to completely turn its economy around and become the strongest in the world. He argues that a big reason for its success has been that it did not take the advice to cut down its manufacturing.

QUOTE: One key to Germany's miracle is the mittelstand, as the family-owned small and mid-size manufacturing firms that dominate the economy are known.

Challenges to Ahmadinejad’s rule rise

Reza Aslan writes in the Daily Beast that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may soon be forced out of office. Aslan argues that if the conservative factions that have kept him in power fracture, he would lose his role. Lawmakers are now threatening to impeach him.

QUOTE: And while it seems that, for the moment, the president can rely on the supreme leader for protection, his enemies in parliament are feeling increasingly emboldened by Ahmadinejad’s fading popularity.

Why India’s corruption problems won’t go away

Columnist Sadanand Dhume writes in the Wall Street Journal that despite India’s vibrant press and democratic policies, it has been able to clamp down on its corruption. He argues this is because those who find the corruption must offensive – the middle class – have the least voting power.

QUOTE: Add to that a hierarchical society that discourages whistle blowing, a convoluted bureaucracy bequeathed by four decades of socialism, and a culture that widely condones special favors for family and friends and you see why the problem won't vanish overnight.