The new provocations from Pyongyang heighten the risk of a military showdown with the U.S., South Korea and Japan. China, the only power with sway over the regime, is exercising limited options for peace on the peninsula.
During his visit to Israel, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in favour of both the Israelis’ right to security and the Palestinians’ right to sovereignty. The issue of settlements, however, remains unresolved and it is unlikely that Israel will make concessions when its neighbours are in turmoil.
The 19th Israeli parliamentary election will take place on January 22 and opinion polls indicate the possible re-election of incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Regardless of the outcome, there are several simmering issues the winner will have to address upon assumption of the office. Simon Clement blogs.