I was kind of wondering if we were really going to have a foreign policy debate on Friday with financial market stuff sucking up all the news coverage, but then along comes the DPRK banning inspectors from their nuclear plant and signaling an intention to start reprocessing spent fuel rods and making weapons-grade nuclear material. Not good.
This reminds me that back when Kim Jong-Il first took ill, I said maybe we should take a glass half full attitude and hope things change for the better. On the contrary, whoever’s making decisions in North Korea seems to come from the “crazy and belligerent” faction. This sort of thing also really makes you wonder about the quality of information that DPRK decision-makers have access to. You oftentimes get the sense that key U.S. policymakers don’t really understand the countries they’re dealing with. But just try to imagine what a weak grasp of the outside world some high-ranking North Korean general is likely to have. It makes the situation dangerous unpredictable.