Just a few months ago, on
"The past records of inter-Korean relations," he intoned, "show that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war." Kim added that he intended to embark on "an all-out struggle" to rejuvenate the nation's destitute economy.
That speech came shortly after the chubby new leader was photographed riding a roller coaster at
Listening to the
Now we know: The answer is no. Instead, we are witnessing a ridiculous melodrama playing out on the world stage. Kim is threatening to bomb
Stop! Can't everyone see this is a show, a performance, nothing more? We've seen all of this before, more than once -- though not in such a concentrated, nearly hysterical form.
The important thing to remember is that members of
Most of these are middle-aged men, and after former leader
The current drama began when
With that, Kim's mandarins seem to have convinced him to abandon his stance as a leader who cared for his people -- an antithetical idea for most of them. They deleted the online roller-coaster photos. But they apparently couldn't get Kim to do everything they wanted. So they doctored at least two photos to show him participating in events he didn't actually attend.
Another Photoshopped picture made public last month showed landing craft hitting a beach. But in fact, photo editors for several publications found that it had been doctored to show many more landing craft than the North probably has.
What better evidence could there be that we're watching a histrionic drama? After all, the North faces no significant threats, from anyone, and its leaders know that.
At home, Kim "is trying to show how tough he is,"
After past episodes like this, the West usually agreed to negotiate, and out of that
Some experts believe
That, Green said, "adds a dangerous and unpredictable element to an otherwise predictable pattern."
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(c) 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc. "North Korea Following a Well-Worn Pattern"