All The Best Bribes

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Are being offered to Iran right now and Kim Jong Il feels neglected. That's the analysis by Peter Brookes on why the diminutive deranged deviate is threatening to set off a nuclear weapon.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il is known for being mercurial, but this time he's promising to go absolutely nuclear: Pyongyang announced Tuesday that it will test its first nuclear weapon – perhaps this weekend.

The "Dear Leader," as Kim's propagandists call him, is feeling ignored.

Kim's lackluster July 4th missile fusillade plainly failed to achieve the desired effect: Instead of forcing the Americans back to the table on North Korea's terms, it prompted the United Nations to slap Pyongyang with new economic sanctions. Looks like the Dear Leader decided he wasn't being bad enough . . .

So the Dear Leader is "doubling down."

Of course North Korea says its hand has been forced because of the "extreme threat of nuclear war and sanctions and pressure" from America. But while the sanctions may be biting (that's the point, after all), there's a lot more at work here.

First, Pyongyang can't help but notice all the time and effort going into bribing Iran to swear off nukes: Tehran's not only getting all the attention, the mullahs are being offered all the best bribes, too – all manner of economic and trade incentives, for starters, from the European Union.

Kim must be saying to himself: "What about me?"

I personally believe there is a high degree of coordination going on here, unlike Brookes. Pyongyang and Tehran have a lot of the same things at stake and they are working hand in hand. They've even opened a South American franchise with Hugo "Little Red" Chavez. Brookes thinks there will be diplomatic efforts and that Kim won't set off the nuke just yet. I think he's probably being a bit optimistic right now. We'll see.

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