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Monday Briefing | December 5

Undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Dec. 2, 2016, shows North Korean leader Kim Jon Un. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA via KNS (Kcna/AFP/Getty Images) | Washington Post
Undated picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on Dec. 2, 2016, shows North Korean leader Kim Jon Un. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA via KNS (Kcna/AFP/Getty Images) | Washington Post

Stories to Follow

United Nations Broadens Sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council unanimously affirmed the strongest-ever sanctions resolution against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Wednesday, November 30 in an attempt to castigate North Korea for its ongoing nuclear weapons program.  The resolution is said to slash the country’s annual revenue by about $800 million dollars and will entail a ceiling cap on the volume of coal the country can export.  North Korea countered Thursday by threatening to apply “tougher countermeasures of self-defense.”  It’s also important to note that the DPRK’s closest ally, The People’s Republic of China, also strongly supported the resolution.  With just over a month left before President-elect Donald J. Trump takes office, it remains to be seen what his administration has in dealing with Pyongyang.

President-elect Donald Trump Selects More Cabinet Picks

On Tuesday, November 29, Trump nominated Congressman Tom Price for the Health and Human Services Secretary.  Congressman Price has been a sharp critic of the Affordable Care Act, famously known as Obamacare, and currently, chairs the House Budget Committee.  Trump also chose Miss Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary.  Miss Chao is the wife of current Kentucky Senator, and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.  She served as the Deputy Secretary of Treasury under George H.W. Bush, and as the Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush.  On Wednesday, November 30, Trump nominated Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and Wilbur Ross as Commerce Secretary.  Messrs. Ross and Mnuchin are both former investment bankers and have obtained most of their wealth in the banking industry.

Trump Breaks Decades Old Diplomatic Tradition with Phone Call to Taiwan

On Friday, December 2, President-elect Trump accepted a call from the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, snapping a nearly four-decades-old American tradition which arose from the 1972 Nixon rapprochement with China.  China issued a sharp rebuke on Saturday, December 3, lodging a complaint with the United States for violating this unwritten precept that all Presidents had adhered to since Nixon.  Foreign policy experts in both China and the United States denounced this event, and fret that it may hasten the atrophy of relations between the two nations.  Trump tweeted on Friday, “Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.”  Throughout the campaign trail, Trump accused China of currency manipulation and of dumping their exports.  He also said he would direct his Secretary of Treasury to label China as a currency manipulator and would instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China to U.S. courts and the World Trade Organization.

Happening this week

New York University Journal of Political Inquiry Publishing Party
Friday, 09 December 2016, 7-10pm | 31 Washington Place, Silver Center, Room 120
The NYU International Relations and Politics Association and NYU Journal of Political inquiry invite you to join us for festivities to celebrate the end of the semester and year, as well as celebrate the NYU JPI’s publication of their latest journal.  Food, fun, and drinks will be served. More info here.

Foreign Fighters, Homegrown Terrorists, and the Prevention of Violent Extremism
Wednesday, 07 December 2016, 6-730pm | 170 E 64 Street, Carnegie Council
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs is hosting a panel discussion on the importance of the multifaceted challenge of violent extremism, what makes these groups ticks and how to combat them.  The panel three distinguished experts on the subject of terrorism.  The event has an admission fee, however students can email for free tickets.  More info here.

In your free time

So I recently received the brand new book Unprecedented last week, and frankly, it wasn’t all it was expected to be.  The book, published by CNN and authored by Thomas Lake, details the 2016 presidential campaign from the beginning till the end.  Of course, all the pundits at CNN, from Jake Tapper to Ana Navarro claim to have prognosticated a Trump triumph, but we all know that’s bologna.  If nothing else, it’s a book that you can show your grandkids one day when you’re older because this election cycle was by all counts, unprecedented.  Buy it here.

This week’s Monday Briefing is brought to you by Daniel Kurzyna.


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