Thomas P.M. Barnett reports:
The most exclusive party on the planet this week won't take place on some former senate candidate's yacht or even in a celebrity's backyard. It will take place well no one knows where it's going to be, really, except somewhere in North Korea. What is for sure and what everyone beyond diplomatic circles should know full well is that the impending conference of the Workers' Party, which is supposed to happen every five years but has taken thirty in this kind of upside-down country, will have implications the world over. Dangerous ones.
The Stalinist party's agenda is to elect its "highest leading body," which is to say formally hand over to Kim Jong Il's third son a twentysomething as obsessed with Jean Claude Van Damme and drinking as he is with military might and Pyongyang's nuclear pride the keys to his Hermit Kingdom. The idiot son, Kim Jong Un, is perhaps the most mysterious and pathetic world-leader-to-be since his own father, and yet the more people I talk to in Washington about him, the clearer and more serious the international concern appears. Even as Hillary Clinton considers at the highest levels a reboot of North Korean talks, one former top official at the State Department predicted "things getting weirder, less predictable, and messier," primarily because "this guy's got no source of legitimacy."