North Korea: A Genuine Threat?

Ever since the Korean War ended in a ceasefire, and not a real peace agreement, North Korea has continued to have designs on the whole peninsula. American troops are still stationed at the border between North and South; at times, they’ve discovered tunnels from the North large enough for tanks and other armored vehicles to travel through for invasion of the South. They routinely blow them up.

North Korea has been governed—if that’s the appropriate term—by one family ever since that 1950s war. Just when you think the supreme leader can’t be any ditzier, the successor proves you wrong. Kim Jong-un, the stout 30-year-old grand poobah of the North Korean prison camp nation, seems to want to prove his mettle, whether to his military commanders, his people, or himself—or all three. Consequently, he has embarked on a dangerous journey of threats of the nuclear variety. He’s probably more dangerous than either his father or grandfather, if no other reason than that he’s too young to have any experience in life-altering decisions.

Perhaps his father never told him that it’s hazardous to play with . . . well, you know:

He doesn’t come across as someone with whom you might have a rational conversation:

Of course, if he tries anything, he could get a rude awakening:

Are these empty threats, or are they serious? Will this administration have the wisdom to deal effectively with the little man? We keep sending foreign aid to North Korea, thinking that will make them more reasonable, but any country that cares nothing for its own people cannot be counted on to be rational.

I conclude that he could set the Korean peninsula ablaze once more; he may be able to do more damage than we think. We had better treat this as a potential disaster-in-the-making. If only we had grownups in charge right now.