North Korea is likely to be the first major foreign policy crisis for the fledgling Trump Administration.

Pyongyang is steaming ahead with its nuclear weapons program and is increasing provocative missile tests, causing the US to rush through its deployment of an anti-ballistic missile battery to South Korea. Meanwhile, a power vacuum has open in Seoul in the wake of a bizarre corruption scandal that has toppled President Park Geun-hye, leaving the country in caretaker mode until elections in May. China remains an uncertain partner and Japan is eyeing greater defence spending as a way to deter North Korea’s regional instability. This comes as the Trump Administration is conducting a top-to-bottom review of its North Korea policy, with reportedly ‘all options on the table.’ A new report, America First: US Asia Policy under President Trump, by Research Fellow Ashley Townshend previews how the Trump Administration views the region.

Perth USAsia Centre CEO Gordon Flake, Associate Professor Justin Hastings from the University of Sydney, USSC Research Fellows Ashley Townshend and Brendan Thomas-Noone and Dr Danielle Chubb from Deakin University discussed the growing concern over North Korea and in the context of Trump’s Asia policy.