There’s an old saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

But in certain situations, the enemy of my enemy is also still officially my enemy.

Take North Korea, which has viewed the United States as its enemy for, oh, about seven decades now.

That country’s leadership is forever blaming and/or threatening this country for this, that and the other.

Officially there are no official diplomatic relations between Washington and Pyongyang, though they have ways to get messages to each other.

One is through Swedish diplomats in North Korea, who officially represent US interests there.

Also, there’s a pink touch-tone phone in the border region that connects the US Command in South Korea with the North Koreans.

When one side doesn’t pick up the phone, they sometimes shout stuff across the demilitarized zone using megaphones.

All that said, these two countries don’t talk much.

They’re not chummy, and it’s been that way since the Korean War came to an end in the 1950s.

Well, except for one time when the US military and joined forces with a North Korean vessel against a group of sea pirates.

In 2007, the North Korean ship Dai Hong Dan was unloading cargo at a port in Mogadishu, Somalia.

There are lots of pirates in that region, so many off the Somali coast that there’s even a Tom Hanks movie about it.

Anyway, during the unloading process a group of pirates disguised as guards came aboard and took control of the ship.

Their demands: $15,000 and a ride to, well, somewhere.

About 20 hours later, the North Korean crew was back in charge of the ship.

Some of them had taken weapons from some of the pirates in the engine room and then stopped the other hijackers.

But a distress call to the outside world had also gotten the attention of the US Navy, which sent the guided missile destroyer known as the USS James E Williams along with a helicopter.

They used the radio to order the pirates to surrender their weapons, effectively backing up the North Korean crew.

And after the hijack attempt had been fully foiled, the North Korean crew asked the Americans to board their ship to provide some medical assistance to those who had been wounded.

The North Korean state news service, which is notorious for its endless anti-American rhetoric, went on the air to thank the US military for its help “in the struggle against terrorism.”

This did not lead to any kind of diplomatic breakthrough, of course.

Still, can it hurt to be able to say, remember the time we put aside our differences and stopped those pirates?

In June 2023, authorities in Minnesota arrested a guy who they say, walked into a restaurant and “began throwing Skittles at employees and customers.”

Fortunately, most of the targets of the Skittles were okay, though one victim said she was “hit in the back with a Skittle which caused a stinging pain.”

That does NOT sound like tasting the rainbow.

N. Korea thanks U.S. for helping its sailors in fight with Somali pirates (Denver Post)

Minnesota Man Jailed Following Skittles Assault (The Smoking Gun)

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolper via Flickr/Creative Commons