Why Korea Can’t Replicate Germany’s Reunification

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It has made geopolitical sense since their establishment in 1948 for North and South Korea to find a way to get along and tap into their joint potential, and yet they haven’t, because peaceful reunification is exceedingly difficult to achieve.

The Shores of Lake Balkhash

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Russia has offered to help Kazakhstan build a nuclear power plant near Lake Balkhash.

Denuclearization and the Demise of Moammar Gadhafi’s Regime

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Could Kim Jong Un suffer the same fate as Moammar Gadhafi if North Korea’s nuclear program is destroyed?

Belarus’ Oil Alternatives

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Minsk is looking to reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

Turkey’s Economic Position in the Balkans

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April 21, 2017 Building economic ties should be the major avenue for Turkey to develop inroads into the Balkans. Turkey is a European power as well as a Middle Eastern power, and it has been a key player in the Balkans for centuries. But Turkey’s influence in the Balkans and the rest of southern Europe is currently limited at best.

Turkey’s National Savings Rate

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Dec. 15, 2017 Turkey’s savings rate, which has been decreasing steadily since 1990, is among the lowest in the world. Meanwhile, Turkey’s external debt has been rising over the past five years, which could ultimately diminish the government’s control over its economy. Since most of Turkey’s external debt – about 70 percent – is held in the private sector, banks are struggling to attract sufficient deposits to meet the investment demands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic stimulus. They therefore have had to turn to foreign borrowing to provide those funds.

New Borders in India: The Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir

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With the dismantling of Article 370, the Bharatiya Janata Party has stripped the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy.

Uzbekistan’s Pivotal Role in Central Asia

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Uzbekistan is perhaps the most overlooked country in the most overlooked region of the world.

China’s Growth in Mortgage Loans and Commercial Bank Profits

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Feb. 17, 2017 There is an increasing probability that a real estate bubble may burst in China. The financial sector heavily depends on real estate, which in turn exposes the entire Chinese economy to systemic risk. This connection means that a downturn in real estate could quickly spread to other areas of the Chinese economy if banks face liquidity shortfalls. Additionally, decreasing housing prices could result in more non-performing loans (NPLs). While NPLs officially account for only 1.75 percent of all Chinese loans, it’s likely that the government is understating the figure. BMI Research, a financial consulting firm, estimated in a 2016 report that NPLs could be close to 20 percent of loans.

Germany’s Perspective

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Sept. 10, 2016 This map shows the geographical perspective of Germany. It is situated on the North European Plain, characterized by relatively flat topography, which it shares with parts of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, southern Scandinavia, Poland and western Russia. Though bordered to the north by the Baltic and North seas and to the south by the Alps, Germany has no significant natural boundaries to the east or west. Germany’s geographical position leaves the country permanently vulnerable to invasion – particularly from France in the west and Russia in the east.

Germany’s geographical reality and the subsequent deep-rooted fear of invasion has been a driving force in the country’s political history. In the 1870s, Prussian strategists created an alliance of independent German-speaking states to form a cohesive economic bloc and political unit that would be able to deter – or fight – potential invaders. In 1905, fear of invasion led Count Alfred von Schlieffen to propose a two-front war against France and Russia, believing that striking first would give Germany an advantage. Today, Germany continues to try to protect itself from outside threats, using the European Union and ensuing European integration to dominate the North European Plain and shield itself from historical rivals. By entangling itself in the EU’s web of political and economic alliances and dependencies, Germany hopes to keep its adversaries subdued.

Venezuelans, Caught in the Crossfire

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As the world chooses sides in the fight between Venezuela’s two presidents, millions of civilians are struggling to survive.

Four Years of the Luhansk People’s Republic

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Since its formation in 2014, the Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine has been plagued by infighting, occasional violence and even allegations of an attempted coup. Not much is likely to change in the immediate future.