October 5, 2007


Hints and hopes for a possible endgame in the Koreas (Howard W. French, October 5, 2007, NY Times)

In addition to being treated as a pariah, the North Korean regime has long been caricatured in ways that have served no useful purpose, and have certainly not helped understand the region's complicated dynamics.

To be sure, Kim Jong Il's government has a long history of abhorrent behavior, most especially toward its own people. For all of their cruelty and eccentricity, what Kim and his cronies are not, however, is crazy.

Like most states, this one is deeply preoccupied with its own survival. It does not take paranoia to conclude that the international order has turned harshly unfavorable toward the North Korean regime since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Seen from the vantage point of Pyongyang, Bush's 2002 Axis of Evil speech came only as confirmation that the country's leadership figured high on a global hit list of candidates for regime change.

So the caricature worked.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 5, 2007 12:03 AM
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