The View From Pyongyang

In "Protips for Increased Dictator Longetivity," The Cold Equations draws attention to the view of a North Korean official on the fate of Libya's seven-year-long accord with Washington:

An unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry official condemned the ongoing coalition airstrikes on Qadhafi forces and told state media that Tripoli was tricked by the West into giving up its nuclear-weapon technology in "an invasion tactic to disarm the country."

In exchange for diplomatic recognition and economic aid, Tripoli surrendered technology that included a largely complete warhead design and 4,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges capable of generating fissile material ...

"The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson," the official said, emphasizing that the North's strategy of building up its own military was "proper in a thousand ways" and the only assurance of stability for the Korean Peninsula.

High-ranking officials in Pyongyang tracking the air assaults on Libya "must feel alarmed, but also deeply satisfied with themselves," Korea University professor RĂĽdiger Frank wrote in a web posting.

The Qadhafi case was "at least the third instance in two decades that would seem to offer proof that they did something right while others failed and ultimately paid the price," Frank said. He cited the former Soviet Union's determination to stop its military buildup and to "abandon the political option to use their weapons of mass destruction," along with ex-Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein's acceptance of international WMD monitors into Iraq.

"To put it bluntly in the eyes of the North Korean leadership all three countries took the economic bait, foolishly disarmed themselves, and once they were defenseless, were mercilessly punished by the West," Frank said.

"It requires little imaginative power to see what conclusions will be drawn in Pyongyang," the professor said, asserting that any high-level North Korean voices who supported nuclear disarmament "will now be silent."