There’s a general presumption in geopolitics that most national governments are, by and large, rational actors. They might be sinister and ruthless, and they’ve all got their little quirks, but for the most part they’re sane.
And then you’ve got Kim Jong-Un, the gibbering lunatic who runs North Korea. He’s the third generation of psychotic “leadership” that tortured country has endured. He’s turning out to be a clever little demon.
Kim Jong-Un has been purging the North Korean military of officers he perceives as a threat. His latest victim was Kim Chol, vice-minister of the army. The minister was arrested for being insufficiently glum during the officially mandated mourning period for North Korea’s previous dictator, Kim Jong-Il. Allegedly, he was “drinking and carousing” during the mandatory days of sorrow. (For most North Koreans, “drinking and carousing” means finding water that isn’t contaminated with bacteria, but the military lives much better than the peons.)
This show of disrespect for the previous Dear Leader left Kim Jong-Un so distraught that he ordered the vice-minister not only executed, but erased. “Leave no trace of him behind, down to his hair,” the executioners were told.
So they ranged in a mortar on a particular spot, forced Kim Chol to stand there, and then lobbed a mortar round into his lap, blowing him to smithereens.