Pyongyang’s truce with Washington could end with terrible results. To avoid that, international efforts – notably from the US – are needed

North Korea often appears to have styled itself upon a James Bond adversary. We have seen the dramatic announcement of a deadline (New Year), followed by the arch threat that “it is up to the US what Christmas gift it will choose to get”. (Experts predict a missile test.) Its fondness for baroque menace is matched by its flair for provocation – Sunday saw the announcement of a “very important” test at its Sohae site, which the US said it had agreed to destroy. A flurry of pictures of Kim Jong-un mounted on a white horse, at the sacred site of Mount Paektu, surely herald, according to state media, “a great operation to strike the world with wonder again”. The theatricality is intentional: Pyongyang wants international attention. It should…

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