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Why North Korea does crazy things like hack Sony and threaten to nuke Colorado

One of the many questions raised by the revelation that North Korea did indeed launch the recent, massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures: why does this country so often seem to be, for lack of a better word, utterly crazy? Why does it repeatedly do things like shell random South Korean islands, occasionally threaten WWIII and, in one illustratively insane 2013 example, release a plan to nuke Colorado?

The answer is not that Kim Jong Un is a megalomaniacal madman (even though he is), nor is the answer that North Korea is acting out of emotional hatred for the United States and for the planned Sony film lampooning Kim, The Interview.

The truth is actually much more interesting than that — and has to do with one of the least-known episodes in North Korean history. The video at the top of this page explains, in about two and a half minutes, the very basics of why North Korea is the way it is.

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