The temptation to deride the reaction from Western capitals, couched as it is in the prissy language of the diplomacy so beloved by Mr. Obama, is irresistible, not only for its pretentious prissiness, but because the evildoers have heard it all so many time before. The presidents and prime ministers of the West need at minimum new speechwriters to project their pretense of toughness, their affectation of strength. They invite mockery at home because they strike neither fear nor caution in the hearts of enemies they insist on regarding as just friends they haven’t made yet.
The latest test is a reminder that North Korea “is going it alone as a nuclear power,” the executive director of the Center for Korean-America Peace, a Pyongyang front, told the daily Guardian of London. “North Korea doesn’t need any talks with America. America is tricky and undesirable. We are not going to worry about sanctions … we don’t care about America and what they say.”