Last week, North Korea conducted a nuclear test, barely fifty miles from the Chinese border. They also are currently gearing up for a long range missile test. The threat is clear. True, their last missile test was less than successful, and by most accounts, their nuclear test was crude (experts appear unanimous in their belief that the North Koreans do not yet have the ability to make a small warhead, that could be fitted onto one of their missiles). However, it is a matter of time and will.
But, have the North Koreans miscalculated? China is, for the first time in my memory, publicly angry with North Korea for their hijinks, especially the bomb test. Especially so close to the border. North Korea is TOTALLY dependent on China for raw materials and supplies as basic as food, fuel and electrical power. Does it really pay to bite the hand that feeds you, especially when you've burned your bridges with almost the rest of the world (I suppose Venezuela might come to the rescue)?
Has Kim Jong Il totally lost it, or are these the death throes of a nation destroyed from the inside?