Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pyongyang tea party

I'm in a parable-telling mood. Nothing like oversimplifying complex issues as if I'm talking to 9 year-olds about the way the world is. Anyway...

Because of the North Korean missle test not too long ago, one of my kids asked me why we view NK with such suspicion. Let me explain it this way: Mostly, it's a matter of trust. NK fought a bitter war against the US over communist vs democratic ideology and officially there has not been an end to the hostilities even after 50 years.

NK still believes it is at war. It's just that it hasn't acquired the necessary technological advantages to win it yet. The US and pretty much the rest of the world are certain that once NK is ready with its war waging capabilities, it will end recess-time and start the war again.

For the world, it's like everyone's at a tea party, makin' nice with one another, while in a shadowy corner one of the guests is muttering to himself and playing with steak knives. Not too comfortable a feeling, is it?

So they're waving chicken wings and hors d'ouvres at him hoping he'll put the knives down and play nicely with everyone else. Sad thing is, he thinks that the only way he's going to get any food at this party is if he keeps pretending to talk to himself and play with knives. And when people start to ignore him again ('cos he grates on their nerves after a while) he gets their attention again by playing with bigger knives. Don't you just hate guests like that? Yet, you feel really sorry for him at the same time.

Trust me, I've been to parties like that before. Ooh... shiny. pointy. things...

Anyway, Mel Gurtov of Time has a theory on why NK behaves so strangely. Check it out here.

Thanks for providing the link, Amy!

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