The mood in DC approached alarmism at the beginning of 2018. Following the Olympic Games in South Korea, not only was it assumed that North Korea would revert to provocative behavior, but Moon Jae-in was not trusted to apply more pressure, trying to sustain the rosy atmosphere that took shape in January. The Trump administration’s determination for a trade showdown was finally becoming manifest with many anticipating a trade war, centered first on China but embroiling South Korea too, as seen in the opening salvo in late January over its exports of washing machines. Perhaps, the biggest source of alarm was the assessment of how Trump had altered US foreign policy in his first year and what he was doing in early 2018 adding to the damage. In annual reviews and forecasts, there was awareness of US failures, Chinese successes, regional turmoil, and a lack of clarity about what moves can be expected to improve the situation.