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.
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Kim Jong Un: A real-life Goldfinger? REUTERS/KCNA
December 14, 2012
of The Week magazine.