When North Korea started to ratchet up the rhetoric several weeks ago, I was concerned. While many foreign policy experts see Iran as the greatest current threat to American security, I viewed nuclear weapon armed North Korea as far more dangerous. Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, has a modicum of democracy, and a vast number of young people who consume pop culture, and, for the most part, admire the United States. North Korea is the most closed society in the world controlled by a leader we know little about. In fact the only photo we had of him until his accession to power was one taken when he was 11.
But as the crisis has escalated I can’t stop giggling.
I feel free to do so because first and foremost I am convinced, by people far smarter than myself, that North Korea is doing what they always do and they understand that any significant attack against South Korean, Japan or the United States would result in swift annihilation.
This whole situation reminds of Dr. Strangelove with Kim Jong-un riding the bomb all the way down. I can hear Peter Sellers in my head saying what the North Korean’s apparently told reporters in London today:
At the North Korean embassy in London, they are answering the phone but saying little.
“As far as we know, we are not giving any statements,” a North Korean official told Reuters, declining to give his name and saying all necessary information was already available on the website of the North Korean state news agency KCNA.
Yesterday you had word of North Korea advising Russia and other countries to remove their diplomatic staff. Again, Peter Sellers, “You must leave sir.”
If North Korea was saying nothing but moving troops and equipment, I might be worried. Until then, I’ll stick with Dr. Strangelove.