By Maria Rosaria Coduti
“Dangerous bedfellows,” “rogue brothers in arms,” and “friends in need” are some of the expressions experts and journalists have used to describe North Korea-Myanmar [Burma] relations in the past.
In 2005, then U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice labeled Myanmar an “outpost of tyranny,” a feature that saw the country enter the club of the “pariah states” along with Cuba, Iran, Belarus, Zimbabwe, and North Korea.
However, just four years later, the newly elected Obama administration reviewed American policy toward Myanmar and shifted to one based on the pragmatic engagement of Naypyidaw, the country’s capital, which inaugurated a new era of the Southeast Asian country’s relations with the U.S. and with both Western and Asian actors as a consequence.
According to some political analysts, this new policy was either a tile of a broader U.S. rebalancing strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region, the so-called ...