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Steve Mollman

Asia Correspondent Asia Correspondent for Quartz.
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Tillerson’s New North Korea Strategy is at Odds With Trump — Again

December 13, 2017 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has laid out a new strategy on North Korea, by saying this on Tuesday: “We are ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. We are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions. Let’s just meet, and then we can begin to...

A Former U.S. Diplomat Is Visiting North Korea To 'Test The Waters' For Diplomacy

December 5, 2017 A visit to North Korea this week by a top United Nations official is something of a landmark affair. Jeffrey Feltman, the chief diplomat and undersecretary general for political affairs at the UN, will be in Pyongyang until Friday, Dec. 8 for political discussions (paywall). It’s the highest-level visit in...

North Korea Is Boasting On TV That Its Missiles Can Hit Anywhere In the U.S.

November 29, 2017 North Korea is trumpeting through state media today its ability to reach anywhere in the mainland United States with its increasingly sophisticated missiles. The announcement follows its third test of an intercontinental ballistic missile early this morning local time (Nov. 29). The news was delivered on national television and through...

For U.S. Defense Contractors, North Korean Hostilities Are Good For Business

September 20, 2017 North Korea is making the world uneasy with its missile launches. It’s also driving business for defense contractors. Take, for example, US defense giant Northrop Grumman’s planned $7.8 billion purchase of Orbital ATK, a smaller contractor focused on aerospace and missiles. As part of the deal—announced Monday (Sept. 18) and...

Booming Miami Is Littered with Tower Cranes Not Built to Withstand a Massive Hurricane

September 6, 2017 The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma, could wreak havoc on Florida this weekend, depending on its still-uncertain path. While it will create bigger problems to worry about if it does, the booming city of Miami is already warning residents about the potential danger posed by...

Beijing's Latest Moves in the South China Sea Spark Fears of a New Land Grab

August 25, 2017 In 2012, China wrested control of Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea from the Philippines. With the shoal—reefs, rocks, and a vast lagoon—located just 220 km (137 miles) from the Philippines’ main island Luzon, the incident heightened tensions and embarrassed Manila, which the following year opened a case in...

'We Do Not Have Long to Act': Tech Heads Warn UN About Autonomous Arms

August 21, 2017 The prospect of tanks, machine guns, and drones that think for themselves becoming widespread is giving tech luminaries the heebie-jeebies. In an open letter today (Aug. 21), a group of specialists from 26 nations called for the United Nations to ban the development and use of autonomous weapons. The signatories...

'We Do Not Have Long to Act': Elon Musk and Others Warn the U.N. About Autonomous Weapons

August 21, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The prospect of tanks, machine guns, and drones that think for themselves becoming widespread is giving tech luminaries the heebie-jeebies. In an open letter Aug. 21, a group of specialists from 26 nations called for the United Nations to ban the development and use of autonomous weapons. The signatories include...

The Upcoming U.S.-South Korea Military Drills Occur Every Year—But Not Amid Tension Like This

August 14, 2017 The upcoming military exercises by the US and South Korea occur every year. What doesn’t: a fiery war of words between North Korea and the US president just ahead of the drills. Pyongyang has long viewed the “Ulchi-Freedom Guardian” exercises, slated for Aug. 21-31 this year, as preparation for war,...

Security Fears Over Chinese Involvement Are Prompting Australia to Halt an Undersea Cable Project

July 27, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow To get faster internet, the Solomon Islands, a struggling island nation northeast of Australia in Oceania, plans to lay an undersea fiberoptic cable about 4,000 km (2,485 miles) from its capital Honiara to Sydney. Currently it relies on satellite-based services that are slow, unstable, and expensive. Solomon Islands. (TUBS via...