It appears North Korea's enigmatic leader Kim Jong Un may need to push the decaf button on the old coffee machine. The caffeine might just be getting to him.
The man who runs a country as if he were a character in a Lewis Carroll novel has apparently approved -- because everything must be approved in North Korea -- a vicious personal attack on President Barack Obama by the Korean Central News Agency. It is an attack the president should dismiss.
The bizarre assault, which was published May 2, was apparently intended to be read only by Koreans because it was not translated into English as is standard practice. But noted North Korea blogger Josh Stanton uncovered the screed as well as a second attack and he republished them.
The rant refers to Obama as a "clown" and a "dirty fellow." And if it had stopped there, it wouldn't even be news. After all, any president of the United States has heard worse from his own constituents.
But it did not stop there. It went on to insist Obama "does not even have the basic appearances of a human being" and then said, "He is a crossbreed with unclear blood."
Later it rails that Obama "still has the figure of monkey while the human race has evolved through millions of years." And that, "It would be perfect for Obama to live with a group of monkeys in the world's largest African natural zoo and lick the breadcrumbs thrown by spectators."
The second piece, which was translated into English, referred to the president as a "wicked black monkey," among other things.
Wow! Not exactly diplomacy's finest hour.
As a nation, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has never been shy about speaking its, ahem, mind. But this is over the top even for Pyongyang. Granted, North Korean official speech often carries racial overtones and the nation is obsessed with "preserving its racial purity."
Also, we realize we don't have to go to North Korea to find such vile name-calling. It is all over the Internet and, yes, much of it comes from the bowels of this country. But such personal attacks from the leadership of a sovereign nation are rare.
Trying to divine what prompted the attack is a fool's errand. Pyongyang's logical construct for behavior often operates outside the bounds of the known universe. Our best guess is Kim is jealous of Ukraine's international headlines. If that sounds a little weird, just remember this is a world leader who lists famous NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman as one of his buddies.
The worst punishment for a megalomaniac is to be ignored. We think that's perfect policy in this case.