Parenting Pyongyang

08/30/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Jennifer Lind North Korea expert and Dartmouth College professor

This week Hillary Clinton compared North Korea to "small children and unruly teenagers and people who are demanding attention."

It's so nice your friends came over to play today! Let's try to be really nice to them, OK? Seoul, it was so good of you to join us -- we're so sorry about that time Pyongyang blew up your cabinet and tried to assassinate your president and bombed your airplane. Let's all try to get along now. I'll be over here, trying to clean up this Iraq mess before Daddy gets home....

HEY! I cannot believe what I just saw, young man! What are you thinking? We've talked about this. You are NOT ALLOWED to get nuclear weapons. Not while you live under my roof. What? Well, if Pakistan and India jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? Give them to me. Right now. I'm serious--RIGHT NOW. Wait till I tell Daddy. Come on, sweetie...please. Be a good boy. Come on. Let's be a good listener. Give up the nukes. If you give them up, I'll give you a cookie!

Good job, sweetheart! Yes, chocolate chip. Yes, you can have another. I'm so glad to see that you are making good choices. Now play nicely with your friends. Oh my gosh, look at the time! Back to Iraq. I don't know if I'll ever get this taken care of....

What are you all screaming about now? He did what? Test-fired a rocket at Tokyo? That is NOT OKAY. Use your words. Use your words. Tokyo was playing so nicely with you, and there you go hurting his feelings. Look at him. He's terrified. He won't want to come over here and play with you if you behave like this. Tell him you're sorry. Don't give me that "sea of fire" nonsense. You watch your mouth. If you do that again, you'll be really sorry.

Ok, I have to topple Saddam now. Jeez, this is taking a lot more time than I'd thought. Things are looking really bad. Maybe if I send more troops in...well, the elections are a good sign...their army is looking better, maybe soon they'll be able to function on their own...HEY!

WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON OVER THERE?! You did WHAT? You're kidding me. Nuclear weapons, again? How many times do I have to tell you that nuclear weapons don't solve anything. Ohhhh....don't you sass me, young man. My nuclear weapons are none of your business. Don't you walk away from me. Yes, you go in your room. You get in there. You take a time out. Don't you slam that door! Look what you did! You knocked the picture off the wall. You're going to fix that, young man!

Tokyo, where are you going? Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry. You don't have to leave....Oh, I'm so sorry he kidnapped a bunch of your citizens. Yes, that was wrong. Bye-bye--thanks for coming over. Say hi to your mom. I'll see her at the school carnival next weekend.

Look at what you've done! Tokyo's gone home. Well, you should care, all right -- you'll care when you don't have any friends. Open this door right now, so help me--I've had just about enough of this.

Seoul, I'm so sorry. I was hoping he'd do better today. I was so proud of him when he blew up his cooling tower; everything seemed to be going so well...Oh! Daddy's home.

Hi honey, how are you? How was your day? Did you sort out that mess with the Uighurs? Oh, what a drag. I'm sorry to hear it. Well, we've had QUITE a time of it here. Um, yes, there are a couple of beers in there, I think. Toward the right side. Yes, I'm sure. On the right. My gosh, why can't you ever find anything? If you actually MOVE things around you'll be able to see they're right there, for goodness' sake.

So, as I was saying, Pyongyang is in his room. Would you believe it, he got nuclear weapons TWICE? I thought I handled it the first time, but then, well, there we go again--and now he won't talk to me. He just calls me names. And now he's up in his room testing weapons over and over again, and I don't know what to do....Tokyo got so upset he left, and now Seoul is just sitting there, pouting. Well, yes, I'm sure things will be ok, but what are we going to do about this now? It's important for us to be together on this. We need to -- Sweetie? Sweetie? You're just going to sit there and watch ESPN and let our son get nuclear weapons? Yes, I know you're tired. But you've got to help me out here. I need you to ENGAGE! No, it can't wait until halftime.

What the-- What's all that noise up there? OH. I just cannot believe this! You give me my journalists back right now young man. CHINAAAAAAAAAAA! Look at what he's done now. You give them back or you'll be sorry. Give them back! Because I said so, that's why. Don't you make me come in there.