First off, the Syrian video is now public:

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Second, I have one more question to add to Jeffrey’s list: “why now?”

This has been bugging me for the last 24 hours.

Prima facie it makes no sense. The US administration commits to a deal with the North Koreans under which the DPRK is not (yet) required to declare its assistance to Syria (if indeed it occurred). So, why encourage opposition to the deal within the US by showing evidence of said assistance?

I can see three possible reasons (not mutually exclusive), none of which I find entirely satisfactory:

1. Elements within the US administration opposed to the deal have convinced the President that this evidence ought to be shown, in an effort to wreck the deal. I have a slightly hard time believing this because it seems Chris Hill has achieved buy-in for the deal at the very highest levels. But, presumably there is still some strong opposition and such a messy bureaucratic compromise would hardly be unprecedented.

2. The release of the evidence was aimed at increasing pressure on Syria. On balance, I still think this is a bigger part of the reason than others seem to. However, it’s not clear to me what has prompted US desires to pressure the Syrians.

3. The US has been itching to release this evidence all along (see points 1 and 2 above for possible reasons) but hasn’t been able to because it would compromise the source (from Israeli intelligence?) who obtained it. If that source has now been ‘secured’ then the barrier to presenting the evidence would have been lifted. Again, this is also possible but still feels unsatisfactory as an explanation.

“Why now?” still seems like a very interesting question.