North Korea flirts dangerously with the status of outcast among nations. The mercurial moods of Kim Jon Il and the frequent reversals in foreign policy positions suggest a nation devoid of a strong central purpose. But the actions of the North Koreans are rooted in perceptions of betrayal sewn deep into their collective past. Understanding their fear of friend and foe alike is essential to crafting a successful diplomatic strategy. Kathryn Weathersby and James Goodby explain the past and future of dealing with North Korea.