Explaining North Korea

The best explanation yet for the behavior of North Korea is in today’s The New York Times. But not in a news article or editorial. It’s in Schott’s Vocab:

“The Kims are playing the Crazed Fearsome Cripple Gambit,” a US military official told The Daily Telegraph, referring to a term coined by the strategic analyst George Friedman.

North Korea’s regime, Mr Friedman argued, wilfully chose to be an economically-crippled state to make itself unattractive as a target for intervention. Then it sought to inspire fear by developing nuclear weapons.

Finally, Mr Friedman argued, “having established that they were crippled and fearsome, the critical element was to establish their insanity.”

Crazy Fearsome Cripple Gambit – NYTimes.com

Makes sense to me.

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