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Ralph Cossa

For Ralph Cossa's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Feb 8, 2013

Breaking past the tired old plot with Pyongyang

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. North Korea decides, for whatever reason, that it is time to once again challenge the international community by conducting missile and nuclear tests. It announces a “satellite launch” and proceeds, despite international condemnation and warnings of ...

Jan 23, 2013

Kim's second test is Xi's first

North Korea’s new supreme leader Kim Jong Un conducted two missile tests last year. The first, in April, failed. The second, in December, was by all accounts a huge success. But it was not just a test of North Korea’s ability to put an ...

Sep 8, 2012

Tokyo-Seoul: enough is enough!

Enough is enough! Obviously, the political leadership in Tokyo and Seoul never learned about the First Rule of Holes: When you find yourself in one, stop digging. Each side seems to be going out of its way to make a bad situation worse, even ...

Aug 3, 2012

Pushing Seoul-Tokyo forward

There is an old Russian proverb that applies to current Japan-South Korea (ROK) relations: “Forget the past and lose an eye; dwell on the past and lose both eyes!” The Japanese, it would appear, are eager to forget the past, while the Koreans seem ...

Mar 24, 2012

China must rein in N. Korea

Now what? Just when we thought things were getting better, North Korea pulled the rug out from under everyone, including itself, by announcing a planned satellite launch to commemorate Great Leader Kim Il Sung’s 100th birthday celebration. Pyongyang (pretends to) believe that there is ...

Mar 9, 2012

Breakthrough is close, again

The recent “food for freeze” agreement between the United States and North Korea has been described accurately by the State Department as reflecting “important, if limited, progress” and inaccurately by the media as constituting a “breakthrough” in the seemingly endless march toward Korean Peninsula ...

Jul 27, 2011

U.S. nukes to South Korea?

Support for the U.S.-South Korea alliance has never seemed stronger in South Korea. The two countries appear to be in lock step when it comes to dealing with the North and their two presidents seem to genuinely like and respect one another, thus permitting ...

Sep 1, 2010

Not China's coastal waters

Would someone please provide the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesman with a map! Over the last few months, since it was rumored, then denied, and then confirmed that the George Washington aircraft carrier would be involved in naval “show of force” maneuvers off ...

Apr 20, 2010

Between the lines of U.S. nuclear policy

HONOLULU — I have attended a number of discussions in recent years about U.S. nuclear weapons strategy and policy. All invariably begin with a presentation by a U.S. official or expert who proclaims that the United States, in the past decade, has significantly reduced ...