William F. Buckley

"This was confirmed this morning in conversations I had with leaders of China, and South Korea, Russia and Japan. We reaffirmed our commitment to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, and all of us agreed that the proclaimed actions taken by North Korea are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council."

"Stop. Notice. Bush said again the 'proclaimed actions taken by North Korea.' As if a 4-kiloton explosion is merely a proclamation -- yes, Suh Tae Hyun?"

"Dear Leader, it may have been fewer than 4 kilotons. I don't have the exact measurement. It might have been under 1 kiloton, but what does that matter? Our scientific plan was consummated."

"See me later, Suh Tae Hyun. ... You heard him say, 'deserve an immediate response' by the U.N. Ha-ha."

"Ha-ha." The sounds echoed about the room.

"The United Nations Security Council can --" He raised the middle finger of his right hand.

But the projectionist mistook the gesture as instructing him to proceed with the speech, and the screen carried the words: "The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States and we would hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences of such action."

Again the screening stopped.

"My father, the great, revered Kim Il Sung, taught me since I was 7 years old -- am I correct, Ku Hi Sun? -- that a nation that has the nuclear bomb need not fear even the dragon."

He bobbed his head up and down, and his counselors agreed.

William F. Buckley

William F. Buckley, Jr. is editor-at-large of National Review, the prolific author of Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography.

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