Stabilizing the Korean Peninsula requires regional solidarity. Tougher sanctions or high-level dialogue with Pyongyang could erode that necessary cohesion.
China’s new leaders will stay focused on domestic issues. With its growing relative economic and military advantages, China is largely comfortable with its current foreign policies.
If the United States and Europe look the other way, North Korea's provocations will continue to threaten the regional order. The Six-Party Talks are unlikely to provide a solution, but Russia could intervene.
U.S. diplomatic efforts are better expended on disincentivizing North Korea from selling nuclear materials and know-how than pointless denuclearization efforts.
The concept of nuclear disarmament as an essential condition for nuclear nonproliferation is again entering the realm of practical politics, but the movement toward nuclear disarmament is extremely difficult and fraught with great dangers.
Nuclear nonproliferation will only be successful if the Nuclear Five, especially the United States and Russia, set an example for the rest of the world by fulfilling their pledges to pursue disarmament.
North Korea plans to use long-range missile technology to launch a satellite later this month despite international condemnation. There are also troubling signs that the isolated country is preparing for a third nuclear test.
With anxieties over the nuclear activities of North Korea and Iran looming large, heads of state from 53 countries convened in Seoul this week to reaffirm and intensify their commitment to prevent nuclear materials from getting into the hands of terrorists.
The cumulative impact of the nuclear developments that occurred in 2012, from the disaster in Fukushima to Iran's continuing nuclear program, will make the world's nuclear future more uncertain.
The chilling of the Arab Spring, Iran's nuclear program, Iraq after the U.S withdrawal, and the continuing European financial crisis are just some of the key issues facing the international community in 2012.