Upon hearing that North Korea had begun referring to the U.S. as its "arch-enemy," Stephen Colbert took it upon himself to do the sensible thing: let them down easy.
"We loathe you," he said in an appeal on Monday. "We're just not in loathe with you."
North Korea upped the ante on hostilities last week when it boasted that it would carry out more nuclear testing in defiance of international sanctions, saying in a statement, "We do not hide that the various satellites and long-range rockets we will continue to launch, as well as the high-level nuclear test we will proceed with, are aimed at our arch-enemy the United States."
North Korean state television also declared that the country was locked in "an all-out war of confrontation" with the U.S. The feeling was flattering, Colbert said, but the U.S. didn't want to rush into any sort of commitment. After all, it wasn't that long ago that America got out of a serious (antagonistic) relationship with the Soviet Union.
"That was really special," Colbert said of the Cold War. "I mean, you're lucky if you hate somebody like that once in a lifetime."
Since then, he explained, the U.S. has tried to keep things casual with other countries -- "quickies" with Iraq and Afghanistan, even though those kept dragging on.
"Taliban will not stop calling us," he complained.
And it's not like the U.S. doesn't hate North Korea, he said, but why would either of them want to risk a perfectly good "foes with benefits" relationship?
"You launch some rockets, we impose some sanctions," he said. "There's no pressure to stay over at each other's countries."
Besides, he explained, North Korea already has an all-too-willing enemy just next door.
"You two have so much in common," he gushed. "I mean, there's history there, and I know for a fact that they really, really don't like you. Maybe the one you're supposed to hate has been right under your demilitarized zone this whole time."
Watch Colbert break the news gently to North Korea, aired Monday on Comedy Central, below.