WITHIN DAYS of the return of Dennis Rodman, the ad-hoc US Secretary for DPRK-American Goodwill, we now have for our consumption James R. Clapper’s “Worldwide Threat Assessment,” presented March 12 to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In his crisp overview, titled “Iran and North Korea Developing WMD-Applicable Capabilities, ” the Director of National Intelligence makes ample use of the phrase “we do not know” — and though you may be tempted to deride, this is the Hermit Kingdom we’re speaking of, after all.
It seems to me that Kim Jong Il’s birthday is a good day to reflect upon the fact that the regimes of North Korea and China are this world’s most depraved and dangerous abominations. The former constitutes “the world’s greatest ongoing atrocity,” and the latter, which appears to compete for that honour, has an ever-growing sphere of influence reflecting its ambition to become the leading world power. So the question ought to be asked, What do you suppose are the prospects if the “international community” continues to shrink from the firmness of commitment that these times require? Before you answer, consider the following.