A North Korean Flower Show with—What Else?—A Model of a Missile

A North Korean Flower Show with—What Else?—Models of Armed Missiles

The world is wondering where North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric will lead them. On one hand, some political analysts say that there will be a missile launch, but without a nuclear warhead, aimed in the general direction of South Korea and/or Japan. (John Kerry will be in the area on Sunday, and Monday is the birthday of Kim Il Sung, grandfather of present DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.) In this interpretation, the whole thing is merely a form of theater to exact concessions from South Korea and the United States.

My own feeling is that North Korea may attack some isolated island or other outlying piece of the peninsula not presently under their control, but claimed by them. In this case, there would be South Korean casualties aplenty; and the South will be attempted to launch a massive counterattack. In this event, the U.S. would probably get involved because of ongoing treaty obligations, though there would be a tug-of-war between Hawks and Doves as to the best response.

If Kim Jong Un is doing all this because he is comfortable wearing the vampire mantle of authority traditionally exercised by the Terrible Kims, he may be in some danger from forces inside his country, especially in the military. The North Korean army has not done any appreciable fighting in the last sixty years, and they have been a privileged and cosseted force within their country. Famines do not touch the DPRK armed forces: They get whatever they want. It kind of reminds me of the Praetorian Guard in the days of the Roman emperors.

Incidentally, the blossoms in the flower show illustrated above have been named Kimilsungia, after the eldest of the Kims.


Those Krazy Kims

Kim III, Alias Kim Jong Unnnnhhh

Kim III, Alias Kim Jong Unnnnhhh

The nuclear era has been around for almost three-quarters of a century now, and we finally have a head of state threatening to begin a thermonuclear war against the United States. I think we have to take this wing-nut seriously. Even if it’s just empty tough talk, it’s the kind of tough talk that calls for a unblinkered response.

Why should we bother to send food to North Korea when they have identified themselves as our enemy? We should be planning airstrikes against Pyongyang and the various outlying nuclear weapons facilities, if we know where they are. Then I think we have to hold back on the trigger, unless, unless, Kim steps over the line in an overt way. Once he does that, he and his poor damned country will have to be vaporized.

Obviously, we will have to coordinate closely with China on this. I suspect that Beijing wants Kim out as much as we do, and may even take the first step. Seeing as how Chinese Communism has evolved into a form of capitalism, Beijing does not want to see its business partners threatened.

Right now, I see the DPRK (“Democratic” Peoples’ Republic of Korea) fully as dysfunctional as Somalia, Syria, the tribal areas of Pakistan, or any other failed state. Apparently, you don’t have to be Muslim to be totally wacko.

I have heard that Kim’s tough talk is occasioned by hard-liners in his military who think he is too soft on the West. Maybe, but I wouldn’t like to take that chance.