Monday, April 25, 2005


When it comes to highly intemperate, yet slightly adorable, invective, few rate as highly as the North Korean government. We do remember the Chinese government having a go at Chris Patten ("prostitute" and "eternal sinner" were amongst the kindlier ones). But they lacked a bit of color.

The finest hour of the North Korean government is still probably their description of the last Bond movie as a "dirty and cursed burlesque". We have no idea what they made of the Team America movie. And then up comes this nugget from the last arms control talks between the US and North Korea.

The star was one John Bolton, and his performance annoyed them so much they reached for the pits of invective, coming up with ""human scum" as an apt description.

We're sure that it's possible that these epithets are the result of willfully obscure translation, and that "uncooperative" might come out as "poxed offspring of a bandit jackal" in the wrong hands. But we like to think that it's just the way that they catch people's attention in an age of turgid diplomacy. It is not, after all, as if, for the time being, there's any way to express themselves violently.


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