When it comes to treaties and contracts they say “the devil is in the detail.” Perhaps that should be amended to “beware of the devil you are dealing with” rather than emphasising the contents of a treaty.

The ups, downs and frustrations of America’s series of failed agreements with North Korea should be instructive to onlooking powers, most of all Israel. The closer we look the closer are the similarities between the deals that were made first with North Korea and more recently with Iran.

Iran has a regime of religious fanatics who appear to welcome death rather than fear it. They believe unconditionally that the Shia brand of Islam they follow will take over the world through the sacrifice of its martyrs.

North Korea boasts an even tighter and more enclosed regime which is  just as convinced in the justness of the course it pursues and the ultimate victory of its way of life. At the apex of power is a man in his mid to late twenties, a total autocrat, who qualifies for leadership on the basis he is his father’s son. Often described as the last communist state, North Korea is more like a cult where its leader is worshipped as a deity.

Iran may have a Parliament but candidates need first to be selected as suitable by a religious court at the head of which sits the country’s religious leader who is chosen for life. Here lies the real power.

If the length of observance of the first Korean agreement is anything to go by, Israel and its allies better get ready for a crisis with the Iranians  by 2024. After agreeing to the non-proliferation Treaty in 1985 the North Korean’s announced nine years later that they were breaking the treaty and were returning to plutonium production.

Bribes of aid from President Clinton then Bush bought periods of quiet  with the Koreans but never an end to its nuclear programme. The Iranians are already testing long-range missiles which they claim is not prohibited by the treaty agreed to in 2015. Whether it was or not is far from black and white as the treaty was agreed but apparently never signed by the major protagonists – the USA and Iran.
So back to the Korean peninsula. The world waits nervously for a conclusion to the sabre rattling between the world’s most powerful nation and the minnow which believes itself unbeatable.
Whether the outcome will be peace or war it will be an instructive and a measurable result of the kicking the can down the road theory. In a nutshell is gaining several years of peace worth the risk? Or is it just a postponement of the inevitable which will see people still die under a hail of more sophisticated weapons when the road reaches a dead end.
Lets hope common sense wins. But in this mad world we all live in I would not unequivocally say give peace a chance, although inevitably it is a more attractive and understandably option.