July 9, 2006
MEANWHILE, IN A REAL COUNTRY:
India tests nuclear-capable missile (AFP, 7/09/06)
India successfully carried out its first test of a nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a range of 4,000 kilometres (2,480 miles), defence officials said.
Making North Korea look even more backwards, if that's possible.
This time, Crazy Kim has upset the wrong country: China (Niall Ferguson, 09/07/2006, Sunday Telegraph)
The intercontinental Taepodong-2, which is supposed to have a range of up to 3,750 miles, crashed just 40 seconds after being launched.
Now, I can understand why some people find it hard to take North Korea seriously. As the ruler of the world's maddest Marxist dictatorship, Kim Jong-il makes Fidel Castro look like a model of political gravitas. For one thing, he is effectively a hereditary monarch, having stepped into the shoes of his father, Kim Il-sung, following the latter's death on July 8, 1994. For another, "the Dear Leader" - as he likes to be known - looks like an escaper from a lunatic asylum. With his Elvis hairstyle, his outsize specs and his khaki pyjama suit, he's the kind of person we would all cross the street to avoid.
There's also Kim's Olympic-standard hypocrisy. While millions of his subjects were starving to death in the famine of 2000-1 as a result of his policy of "self-reliance", his eldest son was arrested at Tokyo's Narita airport, apparently en route to Japan's Disneyland. This is surely more than just a rogue regime. It's a raving mad regime.
But madmen with missiles need to be taken seriously.
Why? Just take him out and move on.
Posted by Orrin Judd at July 9, 2006 9:48 AM