Fascinating Kaplan piece (h/t rcp):
… Kim lives in dread of the Chinese slowly, methodically undermining his regime in a way that will lead to him being replaced—in a palace coup, perhaps—without the implosion of the North Korean state. His only hope is to draw America into direct talks, with Washington implicitly recognizing his regime, so that he can leverage Washington against Beijing. Nuclear tests and missile launches are his own warped way of trying to get the attention of the new Obama Administration. He needs to be enough of a problem that Washington will have no choice but to deal with him directly, rather than merely as one party among several in the multilateral talks that have characterized negotiations with North Korea since 2003.