With the news that Japan, a nation whose militaristic tendencies were turned into radioactive ash some 61 years ago, is considering the ethics of taking a poke at North Korea in the name of self-defense, one has to ask this of the North Koreans: WTF?
I mean, really; WTF?
Maybe there's some kind of cachet attached to being the last place on the planet that tourists can't visit, and wouldn't want to if they could; maybe there's a consolation in knowing you're the last holdout of Stalinism in a world where all your Fraternal Comrades were seduced from the true path by detente and glasnost and Levis; maybe there's some kind of martyr-complex smugness inherent in being the only Pacific Rim nation to never experience the buzz of wallowing in the bounty of an economic boom. None of this, however, explains the attraction of acting in a fashion that causes even the bitter old commies in Beijing to pretend that they suddenly don't know you; of potentially goading a pre-emptive strike from a nation whose military is only slightly more numerous and aggressive than the Swiss Navy; of playing nuclear chicken with nations that still possess enough throw weight to turn every hamlet between Kiev and Vladivostok big enough to rate a traffic light into a heap of glowing slag.
Of all the tacks you could have taken to get attention, to get help, to draw concessions, you had to pick the only one that was sure-fire guaranteed to draw international condemnation. We have to assume there's a method to your madness, because the alternative is even more depressing, so tell us, please.