Latest Twist in Nuke Talks Raises Eyebrows, Concerns
Mercurial North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il threw a monkey wrench into the
six-party talks about North Korea's nuclear program today by demanding that the
other five nations give him an Apple iPod ShuffleT.
In a morning session of the Beijing talks, the reclusive Kim told
representatives of the United States, Russia, Japan, China and South Korea that if he did
not receive an iPod by the end of the day he would test-launch a missile into
the Sea of Japan.
Kim's latest demand took most of the diplomats by surprise, since many had
expected North Korea to demand diplomatic recognition and a security arrangement
with the United States in exchange for denuclearization, rather than a
portable music device that retails for under $150.
At Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple CEO Steven Jobs hailed
the development: "This just goes to show that everybody wants an iPod, even
one of the most insane, brutal dictators in the world."
While some diplomats in Beijing believe that buying off the mercurial Kim
with an iPod ShuffleT and possibly a gift certificate to the online Apple Music
Store represented a cost-efficient way to defuse the North Korean nuclear
crisis, others advised caution.
"If we give in to Kim Jong-il on the iPod ShuffleT, what's next?" said U.S.
negotiator Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill. "He'll want an Xbox,
a PlayStation Portable and one of those cool camera phones."
Elsewhere, in an effort to keep information about Supreme Court nominee John
Roberts confidential, the White House said today that it had wrapped deputy
chief of staff Karl Rove in duct tape.