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Norks Put Tantrum into Overdrive

After threatening to incinerate the US, now the Norks are refusing to pick up the phone. Reuters reports on the escalating bluster from Pyongyang:

Reclusive North Korea is to cut the last channel of communications with the South because war could break out at “any moment”, it said on Wednesday, days after warning the United States and South Korea of nuclear attack.

It is the last remaining joint project in operation between the two Koreas after South Korea cut off most aid and trade in response to Pyongyang’s shooting of a South Korean tourist and the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel blamed on the North.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that under Kim III the Norks have become even wackier and more obstreperous than before. Little has changed on the US or South Korean side to provoke the latest wave of theatrics. The biggest changes are in the region itself: Japan has embraced a tougher foreign policy, and China has begun to grouse very publicly over its wayward ally’s behavior. In fact, the main target of the latest tantrum is probably Beijing, not Seoul or Washington. North Korea is trying to remind its ally that it can make Beijing’s life very unpleasant if it doesn’t get all the support it wants.

There’s no sign yet that China is swayed by this tantrum. If anything, the voices arguing in favor of reconfiguring this unsatisfactory alliance are being heard more clearly in Beijing. This is bad news for the increasingly isolated Norks and may help explain the latest set of tantrums.

[Kim Jong-un photo courtesy of AP.]

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  • Luke Lea

    Norks? As in dorky North Korean crazies? Nice neologism.

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