What are we to make of that fat little boy with the strange haircut, and those old men standing over him with their ridiculous khaki pudding-bowl headgear? It seems incredible that between them the great powers cannot rein in, neutralize, or simply manage the cranky huff and puff of a wholly non-viable totalitarian micro-state, whose continuing existence is in nobody’s interest—least of all its own benighted, brainwashed citizens—but whose irrational behavior now constitutes a terrible threat to the stability of the rest of the world. True, the problem of North Korea seems almost by definition doomed to evade the best attempts of professional diplomats and policy makers everywhere even to grasp, far less to solve it. One does wonder what goes through the mind of each over-decorated North Korean general upon retiring to bed, or upon getting up in the morning. What do they think they are doing, other than holding on—and hoping that baby Kim continues to read from his script? This morning’s New York Times seems to follow the prompts of the Obama administration in regarding the present threats to dispatch probably fictitious nuclear missiles to targets on the continental United States (including the east coast) as no more than the mad bellicosity of a regime determined to reinforce for domestic consumption the artificial reputation for military daring of its limitlessly horrid Baby Doc. However, even if you allow for the old-fashioned propaganda factor, threats are threats, and it is certainly unsettling to know that those nuts in North Korea have concocted a map with straight-line trajectories leading to a spot, for example, no more than an hour’s drive from where I sit. My own feeling is that it would be far, far better if there were no such threats, and certainly no more Kims. Is this too much to seek from such realistic minds as hold sway in Beijing, Washington, and the Kremlin? I mean, enough for Heaven’s sake!