Despite - or perhaps because of - strong international pressure, North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date. Now analysts say that hopes for improved relations are on hold.
A focus of American resources on Asia was a major priority when Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of State. But it is unclear if John Kerry will follow her approach exactly, many regional analysts say.
A US policy shift toward Asia means a greater role for the Navy. Even pre-'pivot to Asia,' it already stationed half its ships in the region, and it is developing a new 'afloat forward staging base' in the Pacific.
News that Obama vetoed a plan by his senior security staff to arm Syrian rebels reveals the extent of his humanitarian impulse. But he must also protect the new UN doctrine of a 'responsibility to protect' by being more open about his Syrian strategy.