It never occurred to me until today, but on this – the 61st anniversary of North Korea’s birth – all the speculation, analysis and questioning of the Hermit Kingdom’s motivations can arguably be reduced to a much simpler equation. The pricklier half of the Peninsula behaves geopolitically like the cranky senior citizen that it is.
Much of the nation’s unpredictable antagonism comes from its relationship with spoiled older brother South Korea (currently clocking in at a hefty 4,042 years of age). But at this point, the central dynamic is one of Grandpa Pyongyang reacting not just to its sibling but everyone else around it that is also trying to force him into early retirement.
“Put down the [nuclear] power tools!” North Korea’s extended international family is chorusing. “Play nicer with the caretakers! Otherwise, we will have no choice but to keep ratcheting up the rules of the U.N. nursing home. Lights out at 1874!”
Of course, it doesn’t help that this Russian-mid-wifed problem child is currently indentured to another cranky senior – 67-year-old Kim Jong-il. A grumpy old man leading a grumpy old nation has further complicated the situation, as he is wont to steal everyone else’s food, try to prevent visitors from leaving and pal around with the one or two other crazies. North Korea is not a spoiled child, as Secretary Clinton mused @gma recently, but rather a cantankerous senior; either way, a new nickname is in order – the Axis of Drool.