Kim and Geopolitical Pessimism

Mysterious news out of North Korea about Kim Jong-Il’s health provides an opportunity to use this cool-looking photo of the DPRK military doing some totalitarian chic marching:

Meanwhile, the news, according to Mark Mazzetti and Choe Sang-Hun is that “Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s leader, is seriously ill and is likely to have suffered a stroke weeks ago, American officials said Tuesday, raising the prospect of a chaotic power struggle in nuclear-armed North Korea.” Doesn’t this seem like a bit of a glass half empty way of looking at the world? Sure, you could see a chaotic power struggle in nuclear armed North Korea. But can’t we also raise the prospect of somewhat-less-terrible leadership coming to power? We’d be talking about a low bar to clear.