North Korea has got to be the most bizarre country in the world.
Cut off from interaction with the rest of the world for decades, run by the military and a ’50s-era communist dictatorial regime, North Korea and its leaders seem to have a hopelessly distorted view of the world. It releases laughable claims about its leaders and their prowess, it issues remarkably aggressive declarations about fighting with South Korea, the United States, and other purported enemies — and then its young leader will put on a big show about watching a basketball game with Dennis Rodman. North Korea is so isolated from reality that it apparently doesn’t realize that Dennis Rodman has long since become a comical figure and punch line for his own peculiar behavior. Entertaining an oddball, fringe figure like Rodman does nothing except leave outside observers scratching their heads.
It would all be laughable — except that North Korea has an enormous military, missile and (apparently) nuclear capabilities, and a starving population, and within days of Rodman’s visit, North Korea announces that it is withdrawing from its non-aggression agreements with South Korea and that it has the right to issue a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Although North Korea hasn’t followed through on all of its prior threats, the provocative statements of an unbalanced regime have to be taken seriously.
It sounds weird to say it, but the reality is that any country so delusional that it thinks hosting Dennis Rodman is a way to show it is a friendly, functioning member of the world community is capable of just about anything.