The Corner

Diplomatic Exchange

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).

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