North Korea is successfully testing nuclear missiles with increasing range. The President threatened “fire and fury”. Secretary of Defense threatened offense. Everyone I speak to is concerned…shit, I’M concerned. This isn’t the “Iraq-has-weapons-of-mass-destruction” that turned out false. THIS, is undoubtedly true. We don’t know if Un is serious, or if he’s bluffing. It’s hard to gage, but it’s not completely impossible. We DO have SOME information that can help us guestimate his intent.
Kim Jong Un isn’t crazy. He puts up a front. He has studied history from the point of view of a western education. He understands the issues we face and our previous actions and military ventures. His only real gain from this is the consolidation of power.
Since his rise to power, Un has actively and ruthlessly worked to this end. He ordered the execution of his uncle, his government continues to impression people en-mass, and he keeps everyone’s eyes off internal misery and strife by creating an atmosphere of fear of the outside world. North Koreas nuclear and military sabre rattling is, therefore, another ploy to rally the masses and take their mind off the misery of their everyday lives. Otherwise, they might just focus their negative attention inward. As brainwashed as people are, they’re hungry. Propaganda doesn’t feed. It can only try to hide the excesses and abuses of the powers that be.
Kim Jon Un is, to say the least, very well fed. I’d say with a fair degree of confidence that he’s the only obese North Korean. He has a strong affinity for western food, in fact many western goods:
Believe it or not, it’s not just Kim. North Korea is thriving. At least the elite are (But hey, who else matters right?) There’s now an area of Pyongyang called “Pyonghatten” where the small population of “rich” North Koreans go to dine on fine food, buy luxury goods and clothing. They enjoy themselves like westerners while the rest of the country lives in abject poverty and is encouraged to eat 2 meals a day.
Why would he want to endanger this lifestyle – both his and his closest allies? If he nukes the west, he’s not only damning himself to be killed and ensuring his regime’s defeat, but he’s also destroying the very source of his pleasures as well as “bread and circuses” that keep his power base at bay. Still, even with all this rationalization, the potential threat of nuclear weapons is hard to ignore.
I wouldn’t blame the President if he decides to strike first, even though I don’t think he should. The government’s job IS, after all, to protect its citizens. The weapons are actually present and in the hands of our proclaimed enemies. I don’t blame anyone for being scared, especially since we’re all making educated guesses on what the actual fuck is going on in that country.
The only definite knowledge we have is the goods flowing into the country, the stories coming from defectors, and the nuclear weapons tests we can detect. The last one is what obviously has everyone rightly concerned. As I said, intent is hard to gage here, but it isn’t impossible. My guess is that it’s a bluff. Perhaps the ultimate bluff. But who the fuck knows.