We are capable of fighting two major regional conflicts....Capable of winning decisively in one and swiftly defeating in the case of the other. And let there be no doubt about it.Donald Rumsfeld in response to North Korea's declaration of nuclear capability
Judging from media reports, North Korea is the country Americans love to hate. A charter member of Bush's "Axis of Evil" whose leader, Kim Jong Il, is routinely described as "insane" and "diabolical" and a self-proclaimed alternative to neo-liberalism and globalization, North Korea is anathema to conservative and liberal Americans alike. And now the CIA says it possesses one or two nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, and long-range missiles capable of delivering atomic bombs or smallpox to America's West Coast.
Suffering no misconceptions regarding North Korea's dubious political traditionfrom human-rights violations to token democracyBruce Cumings insists on a more nuanced understanding of US - North Korean relations. From CIA reports on North Korea's impressive social programs to that country's genuine efforts to address the new strategic environment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cumings draws from his extensive knowledge of Korean history and declassified government reports to show that North Korea is as fascinating as it is repellent, as formidable as it is unique and idiosyncratic....Continua