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[North Korea wants to participate in the Olympic games in South Korea as] another way to show the world North Korea's muscle - literally. [The regime] wants to present and show off their athletes. The amount of resources they put into this as a poor country is quite high. It's serious that they made that initiative and are actually showing up and trying to cooperate, at least in terms of Olympic participation.
[The protests constitute] one of the most serious crises Iran has faced in the past 25 years... We now see that Iranians are willing to take profound risks to challenge the regime directly in a way we have not seen in years.
Most protests in Iran are over economic issues. What’s different is that it seems to have tapped into a deep sense of alienation and frustration, that people aren’t just demonstrating for better working conditions or pay, but insisting on wholesale rejection of the system itself.
North Korea wants many things including economic access, so the price tag to negotiate with North Korea on anything is much higher than it ever was because of its nuclear capability now. People should not assume that because these overtures have been made that it’s going to be follow the yellow brick road, a little bit of fun and that’s that. It’s going to come with a high cost.