The first article, Behind the Iron Curtain: Where to go to get a look inside North Korea links to North Korea Zone
The second article (by subscription), Nuclear Shakedown:
Why would Pyongyang change a system that works? states,
Having taken the measure of his American adversaries, Kim Jong Il and his regime are now embarking on a perilous new high-stakes gamble, one through which they may earn unprecedented economic and strategic benefits. Ballistic missiles are their instrument in this venture. These will be wielded as like a strategic battering ram, with the aim of shattering the U.S. security architecture in the Korean peninsula and throughout northeast Asia.
The third article, the editorial, Rocket’s Red Glare: Not-so-crazy Kim tells the world to pay up one more time explains,
But nothing the U.S. and Japan might do is likely to accomplish much if China and South Korea refuse to pressure the North to abandon its nuclear program. This is what happens when a non-transparent, authoritarian regime is appeased long enough for it to acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. The mullahs in Tehran have already absorbed that lesson. Iran, and other states that are considering going nuclear, will be closely watching how the world responds to Kim Jong Il’s latest provocation.
My question is, what if North Korea, which wants South Korea, is testing the waters for its patron China, which wants Taiwan?
Update: Speaking of Taiwan . . .