TWO PERENNIAL INTERNATIONAL DANGERS LURKING DURING THE TRANSITION FROM ONE PRESIDENT TO ANOTHER
* David Ignatius on Trump and Iran.
* The Associated Press on the Hermit Kingdom:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered at least two people executed, banned fishing at sea and locked down the capital, Pyongyang, as part of frantic efforts to guard against the coronavirus and its economic damage, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers Friday.
Kim’s government also ordered diplomats overseas to refrain from any acts that could provoke the United States because it is worried about President-elect Joe Biden’s expected new approach toward North Korea, lawmakers told reporters after attending a private briefing by the National Intelligence Service.
One of the lawmakers, Ha Tae-keung, quoted the NIS as saying Kim is displaying “excessive anger” and taking “irrational measures” over the pandemic and its economic impact.
HALPERIN SAYS: Donald Trump broke from the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama consensus on how to deal with these two remaining members of the Axis of Evil. For Trump, doing things differently did not produce a definitively different result. Biden wants to go back to the Obama-Biden days with regards to Iran, but we don’t really know what his NoKo plan is. Provocative action before New Year’s Day in either place (or both….) could produce the biggest headlines of the final days of 2020 — and remember that these two countries have a history of such December moves. And remember that Trump wants to leave a mark.
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