GZERO Media logo

North Korea vs Iran

North Korea vs Iran

Consider this comment that then-CIA Director, soon-to-be secretary of state, Mike Pompeo made last Sunday to Margaret Brennan, host of the CBS News program “Face the Nation.” Pompeo compared the deal Trump hopes to make with North Korea to the bargain Barack Obama and others struck with Iran:


“Most importantly the conditions are very different. The previous administration was negotiating from a position of weakness. This administration will be negotiating from a position of enormous strength with sanctions that are unrivaled against the North Korean regime.”

Many Americans think of these two countries simply as “rogue states,” the surviving two-thirds of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil,” but there are big differences between Iran and North Korea. In fact, Pompeo’s comparison between them isn’t one Trump should want us to make, because North Korea will be a much tougher problem to crack than Iran was — for any president. Why?

  • North Korea already has nuclear weapons. Iran doesn’t.
  • North Korea has enough military power without nuclear weapons to kill millions inside the borders of US allies. Iran doesn’t.
  • Kim likes isolation. His regime’s survival depends on his ability to isolate 25 million North Koreans from the rest of the world. Iran can’t afford isolation, because its long-term stability depends on the ability of Iran’s economy to deliver improved standards of living to the country’s 80 million citizens. That makes Iran much more vulnerable to sanctions than North Korea, because isolation chokes economic growth.
  • Kim will be watching how Trump handles the Iran deal. If Trump shreds it — or keeps threatening to do so — Kim will have reason to doubt he can ever commit to any agreement that Trump, or a future US president, might tear up.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

"No election is conducted perfectly, and elections have all kinds of problems.We're going to have more problems because we're running an election during a pandemic." Election law expert Rick Hasen cautions that both campaigns could misconstrue honest mistakes in the administration of this week's national election as nefarious acts. The integrity of the election, he warns, could be compromised by human error and the unprecedented challenges posed by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Hasen's especially concerned about key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

With COVID increasing in France, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere, has Europe lost control of the pandemic?

Well, I wouldn't say lost control, but clearly it is a very worrying situation. With COVID increasing virtually everywhere, we see a new wave of semi-lockdowns... it's not as bad as it was in the spring... with the hope of being able to contain the surge during the month of November. Let's wait and see.

More Show less

An extended conversation with Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former top State Department official under President Obama and the CEO of the think tank New America. Slaughter spoke with Ian Bremmer about how a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy.

UNGA banner

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal