There is something about the state newspapers functioning in totalitarian governments that tickles me. It is the same with supermarket tabloids and the Iraqi information minister; they must know that they are not telling the truth (I assume, perhaps wrongly, that the journalists at the Korean Central News Agency are allowed access to external news sites; heck, even their hosting is in Japan).

The most interesting entry (calling them "articles" would be a bit of a stretch; they are ridiculously short) would be the condemnation of American espionage (the almost-daily entries on diplomatic floral baskets simply do not hold my interest like they used to...).

This outrage would be understandable if the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was the victim of evil American agression they portray themselves as being. However, any country that uses secret agents to kidnap foreigners in order to train more agents (if the abductions took place within North Korea, the government could at least claim the abductees were actually Japanese spies or something semi-reasonable) does not have the right to complain about the overflight of reconnaissance planes. The "Chronology of Provocations" at was also enlightening.

If Bush is re-elected (God forbid), it will be interesting to see if there is any shift in the foreign policy stance toward North Korea. Unlike Iraq (subjugated) and Iran (where an improvement in relations seems likely, at least in the long-term), North Korea already has nuclear weapons. Unless Bush wins the next election with some kind of landslide victory (which is unlikely, unless Carol Mosely-Braun - to choose a candidate at random - breaks a party deadlock between the five or six candidates with more support than her), thus allowing the hawks in the administration to claim the support of the American people, I do not think we will invade North Korea (it would be too politically dangerous, especially considering the likelihood of at least tatical nuclear weapons being detonated). Therefore, one of two scenarios would happen. The first (and less likely) is that Bush extends an carrot to the North Koreans by signing some sort of non-agression pact in return for some sort of security guarantee. The other possibility is that North Korea will disappear from the radar of the American media, replaced by continued turmoil in Afghanistan, bombings in Iraq, and concerns about what books the terrorists may be reading.