Yesterday I was talking with a senior official from China’s Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. These people don’t give out much beyond boilerplate, not
to conservative American hacks anyway, but there was one moment when the
mask slipped a little. I asked: “Tell me something honestly. Do you think
Kim Jong-il is crazy?” The official’s face twitched, there was a moment of
pained silence, then: “We think he is… very difficult.” Everybody
laughed (including the official).