Communism is dead! Long live the military!

Banyan’s Asia blog at the Economist:

Kim Jong Il hints he’ll come back to disarmament talks. And so the merry-go-round looks like starting up again.

(…)

If Mr Kim tells Mr Wen that he is ready to give up his nuclear capability, I’ll be interested to see with how much enthusiasm the Obama administration reacts. From Mr Kim’s perspective, entirely rational within his own frame of reference, nothing can have changed. The chief guarantee of the regime’s survival is its deterrent power. At the same time, Mr Kim can shake down the international community, for money is running low again. By contrast, giving up nuclear weapons and embracing economic modernisation, Chinese-style: there lies the road to ruin.

[From Communism is dead! Long live the military!]