(This article by Joe Alton first appeared in the Daily Caller)

 

There’s a kid who carries a hand grenade with him to school. He claims to have a whole lot of hand grenades at home, and is always threatening teachers and students that, if you get him mad, he’s going to use them one day. He occasionally digs a hole in the ground and tests his hand grenades to make sure they’re good to go at all times.

This kid is used to getting his way in his home town. He comes from an influential family and there’s no one who can punish him for his bad behavior. Lately, he’s been playing with model rockets, and dreams of the day that he can figure out how to attach a hand grenade to one and take out his next-door neighbor.

I’ll bet you’ve figured out by now that kid is Kim Jong-Un, supreme leader of North Korea.

Kim has ratcheted up the rhetoric recently, and his continued testing of intercontinental missiles and nuclear bombs is making everyone, and I mean everyone, nervous. The United States has a naval force that, it is thought, will arrive in the general area in Late April. In return, Russia is monitoring the situation via submarine. Even China, North Korea’s main ally, is beginning to feel the pressure from a world that wonders if we’re on the brink of war. Their submarines are also tailing the U.S. fleet, and the question is: Will the Doomsday Clock finally strike twelve?

The Kim dynasty has a long history of inflammatory statements threatening South Korea and the U.S. with Armageddon. For decades, this strategy has worked just fine to get concessions from their Southern neighbor, the U.S., and the world community. Now, however, there’s a new sheriff in town, and tougher talk from President Trump is calling North Korea’s bluff.

But no one knows if it’s really a bluff. Could generations of bad genes have produced a maniac with so little respect for nuclear weapons? Is the kid ready to pull the pin on the grenade? It’s clear that any attempts at regime change, a la Syria, will light the fuse to the powder keg. Is the administration, in making the point that this isn’t the old, wimpy U.S., reigniting the Korean War?

Perhaps the question should be how hostilities have been avoided for this long. A few hundred yards have separated people at war (the Korean War “ended” with a truce, not a peace treaty) for 65 years. With internal troubles such as the inability to feed his own people, wouldn’t armed conflict be a peachy way for Kim to keep North Koreans’ empty stomachs off their minds? Plus, why parade all these great TMD’s (Toys of Mass Destruction) around if you can’t use them?

To Kim Jong-Un, the nuclear deterrent may no longer be a deterrent. Call me pessimistic, but I don’t expect the saber-rattling to end any time soon. Kim’s paranoia (if it is) about future missile strikes against him, combined with a more assertive West, will keep the situation on a razor’s edge for the foreseeable future.

 

Joe Alton

Amy and Joe Alton