Joe Biden’s relationship with North Korea looks set to wildly differ from Donald Trump’s ‘bromance’ with Kim Jong-un.
Whereas the outgoing US President declared he “fell in love” with the tyrant, Biden is more likely to follow a traditional diplomatic path.
The Democratic president-elect is said to be planning to work with US allies and China to bring pressure on to North Korea.
But the rogue state will continue to develop its nuclear capabilities.
The Axios website has warned it could be Biden’s ‘most difficult’ foreign challenge.
Experts have warned the hermit kingdom might use missile tests to send a “strong message” to Biden to force him to pay attention, CNBC reported.
The signal would make sure it remains ‘relevant’ and stays a key foreign policy priority for Washington.
It wouldn’t be the first time it has carried out such a move either, having launched missiles early on in Obama and Trump’s presidencies.
Evans Revere, from the Brookings Institution, told the broadcaster: “The coming weeks may see North Korea conduct a nuclear or long-range ballistic missile test in order to send a strong message to the incoming president.
“While Biden will want to put other issues, including domestic concerns, at the top of his list of priorities, Pyongyang has a way of forcing the United States to pay attention to North Korea.”
Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have already agreed to work together to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.
But relations between the pariah state and Biden look set to get off to a frosty start.
Pyongyang previously called the former vice president a “rabid dog” that “must be beaten to death with a stick”, claiming he had insulted its dignity.
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And Biden branded dictator Jong-un a “thug” during the US presidential campaign and compared him to the Nazis.
But some analysts fear Biden could be too passive when it comes to dealing with the regime, like Barack Obama, who he served under as vice-president.
They claim the approach led to it building up its stock of nuclear weapons.
Cristina Varriale, from think tank the Royal United Services Institute, told NBC News: "That didn't really work.
"By the time Trump took office in 2016, North Korea had got to a point where they were quite advanced in terms of where they were with their nuclear program."
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Republican Trump had a turbulent relationship with Jong-un during his time in office, which swung from insults to an apparent friendship.
The two leaders initially hurled insults at each other, with the US President threatening ‘fire and fury’ against North Korea as it carried out nuclear tests in 2017.
He mocked Jong-un as ‘Little Rocket Man’ and was even said to have become obsessed with sending him a CD of the Elton John song Rocket Man, signed by the singer.
For his part, Jong-un claimed the “entire” US was within range of North Korea’s nuclear weapons – and a “nuclear button is always on my desk”.
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But a historic breakthrough appeared to come when the two leaders met in Singapore in 2018 – the first such meeting between sitting US and North Korean leaders.
Trump, who claimed the pair “fell in love”, also became the first sitting US President to step into North Korea last year.
However, the two countries have still not reached a nuclear deal.
Back in June, North Korea claimed it was backing away from the US.
US officials say Jong-un hasn’t stopped building his weapons arsenal, and has up to 60 nuclear warheads and 1.2million soldiers primed for war.
And it means it looks set to remain an issue for years to come, whoever is president.
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