Bilateral: Respect

North Korea didn’t hate India and India liked that because it was really easy to get on the North’s bad side and less easy to get on his good side. North Korea had always applauded India’s nuclear ambitions, and, according to the Korean, he needed a nuke buddy to replace “poor, foolish Iran.” That’s why they were having drinks in New Delhi.

“We’ve achieved so much,” India said. “My people and I have worked hard to ensure that our motherland is prosperous and powerful. I’m proud of my nuclear program–largely because it infuriates Pakistan, but there are, of course, other reasons.”

“I’m proud of mine too,” said North Korea as he started his second drink (these were trying times). “And everyone hates that.” India smiled sympathetically and nodded for him to go on. “When I ask them why they can have weapons but I can’t, they tell him I’m crazy–unpredictable, irrational. Of course, they can have weapons because they’re ‘responsible.’ But are they?” He gave India a quick look before his gaze fell back to the bottom of his glass. “I want to be taken seriously. This is the only way I know how. ”

“You know,” India started, sliding his drink to the side and looking at her friend with sincerity. “Nuclear weapons may demand respect, but they cannot make people respect you.

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