You can't brush it off

North Korea's bluster taking on a more belligerent tone

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It’s tempting to laugh off the North Koreans’ warmongering – as a Buffalo Bills football player did in a Twitter “tweet” suggesting that they bomb rival New England first.

We all know the North Korean regime is crazy and delusional, and is like an ant kicking an elephant when it threatens nuclear war with the U.S. And threatening others is just part of their playbook in Pyongyang; in the past, such blackmail has earned them food aid and other concessions from a spineless West.

We may have trained the heads of a starving nation to perform for food.

But the bluster seems different this time.

It could be that they’re acting out of self-induced desperation. The country – a veritable lab experiment on the fatal failures of communism – is wracked by shortages of just about everything nonmilitary. Satellite images show the breathtaking nighttime contrast between North and South Korea: The democratic South is lit up. And hunger is such a chronic condition that occasional reports of cannibalism leak out.

Even in a brainwashed nation desperation can cause unrest, and perhaps that’s what drives the regime to lunacy. That, and maybe the insanity that comes with believing your own press clippings: “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong Un, a pudgy thirtysomething, inherited the family dictator business from dad Kim Jong Il – who, it’s said in state-run media, shot 38 under par with five holes-in-one in his first round of golf.

Kim Jong Un, in short, has lived his entire life in a house of delusion.

And who knows what factional machinations are at work in the North Korean military that carries him on its shoulders?

Whatever is at work in North Korea can’t be brushed off. The country is assumed to be a nuclear power, and just as you don’t pooh-pooh local bomb threats you can’t just dismiss nuclear threats out of hand.

The regime has recently called off the armistice with the South; announced it’s restarting nuclear processing; and made increasingly menacing pronouncements about nuking American cities and territories.

The Obama administration has done what it should, which is to project military strength and solidarity with the South. But where the heck is China in all this?

It’s no secret North Korea and its volatile government exist at the pleasure of Beijing. And Chinese rulers undoubtedly relish allowing their pit bulls in Pyongyang to nip at U.S. heels; it’s caused us to divert all manner of military assets, at great cost. But how far off the chain are they going to let North Korea go?

China needs to quit playing Cold War games through its surrogates – especially at the expense of its best retail customer.

Once and for all, cut the nonsense; it’s getting dangerous.

And it’s way beyond funny.

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Jon Lester
Jon Lester 04/05/13 - 02:41 am
Actually, the Chinese have a very big concern

with the prospect of having to deal with an estimated 4 million refugees crossing that border.

gaflyboy 04/05/13 - 03:45 am
Right Jon

Which may explain their military buildup along their border.

I agree with the article that China needs to do more ... something. But it's not clear just how much influence they have anymore, with the delusional despot that inherited rule.

jkline 04/05/13 - 05:41 am
NK wants us to panic. Don't panic.

North Korea is not doing anything that they have not done for the past sixty years. The best thing we can do is just ignore it. South Korea is under the US nuclear umbrella, and North Korea can have all the nukes it wants. It cannot use them.

Just ignore them.

Riverman1 04/05/13 - 08:02 am
China, Kim and Nukes

China does have influence with North Korea and it seeks to keep the North and South divided. They fear a reunified Korea. South Korea with Samsung, LG, Hyundai and other high tech companies is a powerful capitalist force. China fears a stronger Korea.

Kim Jong Un is the wildcard. A dictator such as he is knows if he ever loses power, he and his family will not be dealt with kindly. His life depends on keeping power. I suspect there are questions about his ability to lead from the behind the scene forces in North Korea. His solution to maintain power is to unite against an enemy. A timeless tactic.

The solution, let him rant while having secret talks warning him just how dangerous it all is. When he gives the military the green light to fire nukes, what if some low level military person takes him at his word?

deportem 04/05/13 - 08:21 am
"Mouse That Roared" Senario

This is a "Mouse That Roared" senario, and Obama, Kerry, and the rest of the administration have fallen into Kim's trap. Eisenhower would know what to do. The "show of force" just served to push Kim into a corner, so now he has to do something. People are going to die, but rather than blow NK to "Kingdom Come", Obama needs to think very carefully. Just as he started the "Arab Spring", Obama is about to start another war because of his stupidity. Any action by NK must be met with a "measured response"-sort of "an eye for an eye", and not total destruction!

David Parker
David Parker 04/05/13 - 08:38 am
Just Seal Team 6 the fool and

Just Seal Team 6 the fool and be done with it.

Riverman1 04/05/13 - 09:11 am
I say have Dennis Rodman

I say have Dennis Rodman dress in drag and go back to North Korea to talk some sense into Kim. Neither one of them has a clue about the real world.

Hooray for RFK
Hooray for RFK 04/05/13 - 10:24 am
North Korea has ONE untested

North Korea has ONE untested missile that can MAYBE reach Guam with a good tailwind. Chill out, folks.

rmwhitley 04/05/13 - 04:31 pm
The North Koreans

have one thing in their favor--- obama.

gargoyle 04/05/13 - 08:29 pm
dichtomy nailed it

The joker is that all three policy makers don't know what kind of game they are playing or what they want to do next

Darby 04/05/13 - 09:24 pm
"Just ignore them."

Just wondering where Jkline learned learned his version of government, politics and diplomacy?

When I was in Korea, those crazies frequently tunneled under the DMZ and played havoc with US and S. Korean forces.

In one case they ambushed a recon patrol of my men, killing all five of them before slinking back to the North. Our government did nothing but protest, while I wrote five letters to the next of kin, explaining how their loved ones died in heroic service to their country.

Crazy doesn't respond well to logic, including but not limited to the threat of nuclear retaliation. The voices in their delusional heads override all reason.

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