The word this morning is Kim Jong Il has apologized for the NK nuclear test, and has agreed to return to bilateral or six-party negotiations intended to stop the NK weapons program. This, following a high-level visit from Beijing.
I'm sure it was worded in elegant and subtle phrases, as only Asians are capable of. I'm sure no voices were raised, and no outward violence was threatened. But I absolutely guarantee that, after his meeting w/ the Chinese delegation, Kim first went to the bathroom to clean out his underwear, then made a beeline to the offices of his PR guys to get started drafting his communique.
I think the lesson here is: If your country's entire existence is dependent on the good graces of a single foreign sponsor, don't piss that sponsor off.
And, perhaps a further lesson: Being on the same side as the Chinese might not be such a bad thing. Now, can we, as Tom Friedman has advocated, get them to work with us on an alternative energy program?