North Korea disconcerted the global community this week by sending a satellite into orbit, which was seen as evidence that the nuclear-armed state is making progress in its effort to develop long-range missile technology. There is a method to North Korea's madness — analysts say the launch is part of dictator Kim Jong Un's effort to solidify his rule — but the rogue state's wild provocations often reek of willful malevolence. And as if to cement his caricature as a villain from a James Bond movie, North Korean state media has released a photograph of Kim watching the launch as he coolly smokes a cigarette. He really does resemble an Asian Goldfinger, and even the giant monitor tracing the satellite's path looks like a prop from the era of Connery. One almost expects the regime to release a ransom video in which Kim is holding a pinkie to his lips and demanding one million dollars.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- How to save money: 12 great personal finance tips
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: December 22, 2014
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- A brief history of the Christmas present
Subscribe to the Week