Office of the Secretary of Defense. March 5, 2014.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains one of the United States’
most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s
willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on
the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic
missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations
Security Council Resolutions.
http://www.defense.gov/pubs/North_Korea_Military_Power_Report_2013-2014.pdf [PDF format, 27 pages]
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. March 3, 2014.
The Ukraine situation will affect Washington’s Middle Eastern priorities, but not to such a degree that it will stymie a strong U.S. response to Russian actions, since America has the power to act in the region without Moscow if necessary. Ukraine could well make it necessary. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Congressional Research Service. February 27, 2014.
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial political, economic, energy, environmental, and other interests in the region. Decisions that Congress, the executive branch, foreign governments, international organizations, and commercial firms make on Arctic-related issues could significantly affect these interests.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41153.pdf [PDF format, 118 pages].