Kim Jong-Un has now established himself as a madman on steroids. He’s not doing the usual North Korean war games dance followed by demands for food and money. Instead, he’s declared that the Korean War, which was merely in abeyance, is reinstated and that North Korea is standing ready to rain havoc on America. He seems to believe his own mythology. I’d be willing to bet that he’s had the country’s best minds figure out how he can put his pants on both legs at a time, thereby raising himself above even the former Russian Tsar (whose peasants said of him that he was still a man who put his pants on one leg at a time).
Will Kim Jong-Un’s military follow him? Are they so brainwashed that they will be incapable of a coup that will stop him as he embarks upon a path that will witness his country’s complete destruction?
I have no doubt, incidentally, that if Kim did start a war against the US, we would quickly destroy him. I also have no doubt that his attacks and strategy would be primitive and of limited effectiveness, even if he did launch nuclear missiles. But knowing those two things doesn’t mean that any war he starts won’t be a bloody disaster for the Korean mainland and, possibly, for parts of America too. There might be a nuclear mess to clean up, and thousands, or tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people — South Korean, North Korean, and American could die or suffer radiation poisoning. In addition, there’s the very real possibility that China will feel compelled to defend its satellite, reasoning that it’s better to have a crazy satellite than no satellite at all.
We think we’re too sophisticated for 1950s fall-out panic, but are we really? In any event, without the 1950s civilian defense infrastructure, what the heck can we do? We’ve felt impregnable for decades behind our “best military in the world.” But how much will it help us against a lunatic totalitarian state led by a man who thinks he’s not just a demi-God, but a God, armed with nuclear warheads?
And again, one ask to ask if this is just a feint, with the real business of war taking place in Iran?
I’m not panicking, I assure you, but I’d be lying if I said I felt happy and comfortable about this.
Incidentally, if you’d like to read a stellar North Korean analysis, you can’t do better than reading Thomas Lifson, since he is deeply conversant with the Far East.