North Korea is seen as an unpredictable 'spoiled child.' Iran is seen as a rational but aggressive nation. Each have nuclear programs, but pose unique problems for US security.
China's highest-ranking foreign affairs official went to Pyongyang on Thursday, just after US Adm. Mike Mullen visited Japan and South Korea.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered blunt condemnation of strict Internet censorship in China and pledged to help Chinese citizens jump the 'Great Fire Wall.'
The UN global warming summit in Copenhagen presented a picture of confusion to the outsider. It appeared even wilder to reporters covering President Obama's trip from the inside.
The world’s largest carbon emitter must submit to outside review of its efforts against climate change for the US and others to sign an agreement.
At the Copenhagen climate talks Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US could provide billions in aid to help poorer nations convert to clean technologies. But that's only if countries like China agree to monitoring of their climate change efforts.
Obama, who called the Great Wall 'magical,' leaves with new awareness of US-China interdependence – as well as differing priorities.
On first Obama trip to China, the message is clear: This is about China's rise, not Obama popularity.