North Korea Goes Nuclear With Faxes

At least we don’t have to worry about Kim Jong-Il mounting a sort of WikiLeaks assault. He probably still has dial-up.

By + More

After a pattern of genuinely alarming global security threats, North Korea has pulled out the big guns.

They’re sending faxes.

That’s right--faxes. Remember those? The decades-old technology (or, "technology") that involved standing in a small room, waiting for that irritating screech that indicated receptivity to a fax? That was, of course, preferable to being on the receiving end, amassing an inbox full of impossible-to-unscroll, shiny paper with barely-legible reproductions of documents no one wanted or needed to read, anyway.

[See a roundup of editorial cartoons about North Korea.]

But this is, in fact, the tactic used recently by North Korea, which, according to CNN, is bombarding South Korean companies with faxes, blaming their southern neighbors for the November 23 attack on Yeonpyeong Island and urging South Koreans to rise up against their government. [Read more stories about U.S. national security.]

How pathetic, and what a comical revelation about how backward the rogue nation is. I have an image of Kim Jong-Il, cursing as he feeds the faxes, page by slow page, into a sputtering machine. Is this any way to be a serious player in the Axis of Evil? In Iran, citizens used Twitter to protest the June 2009 presidential elections. And even after a shocking and awesome attack on Baghdad in 2003, one could find an Internet café to surf the web or send an E-mail. Faxing just looks laughable, and raises some questions about how up-to-date North Korea’s military technology is. At least we don’t have to worry about Kim Jong-Il mounting a sort of WikiLeaks assault on the world’s government and businesses. He probably still has dial-up. But he’s undoubtedly working on getting a broadband connection, at which point the dictator will make his next provocative move: to defriend South Korea on Facebook.

  • Read more news about U.S. national security.
  • See photos of the Obamas abroad.
  • See which industries give the most money to members of Congress.