Amid Tensions On Korean Peninsula

What does North Korean leader Kim Jong Il gain from infuriating the outside world and triggering sanctions that heighten the misery of his people?That vexing question has again surfaced as South Korea and the United States moved this week to punish North Korea for apparently torpedoing a South Korean warship and killing 46 sailors. There was a similar international push last year to penalize Kim's government for exploding a nuclear bomb and launching a flurry of missiles. Because North Korea has perhaps the most secretive government in the world, there is no definitive explanation for its seemingly self-destructive actions. But there are revealing patterns in Kim's behavior and how it is sold to his isolated people.The North's internal propaganda machine uses Kim's defiance of the outside world to whip up nationalist fervor and to distract North Koreans from the increasingly grim circumstances of their daily lives.