So everyone has been expecting former US President Jimmy Carter to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in order to secure the release of daytripper Aijalon Mahli Gomes by
But lo and behold, just as Mr Carter is collecting his carry-ons after touch down in Pyongyang, we get news that Kim Jong-il is not even in North Korea! He's in China! That's right: China! I'll bet you didn't see that one coming, eh?
[UPDATE 2: With his son, Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong-un, no less! If there was ever a time for a brown parade.]
No doubt, the timing of this impromptu trip is motivated by fear (or flashbacks of being overshadowed like a Hobbit). For starters, KJI is probably genuinely afeared that any jaunt across the Yalu carries with it the risk of assassination and/or coup, so best to keep it on the down-low.
Second, it's already been irrefutably established that Jimmy Carter is a stone-cold killer. Within months of meeting the former peanut farmer, Kim Il-sung (KJI's dad) was dead (cue audio of Dubya saying, "He tried to kill my Daddy!"). Same with South Korean strongman Park Chunghee.
Could be a huge coincidence, but if I were the Dear Leader, I'd get the hell out of Dodge, too. Or at least send a Doppelgänger.
Commenting at One Free Korea, James calls "death watch." And that reminded me that I forgot to add the more serious reason for the urgent trip: Maybe Kim Jong-il really may be much closer to the Pearly Gates (as if!) than we realize, and this emergency trip by L'il Kim is intended to make sure Big Brother China is on board with a continuation of a North Korean monarchy.
It's not too late to join my year-old KJI Death Pool.