That pesky little snot running the "Democratic People's Republic of North Korea", an ironic name if ever there was one, apparently has decided that he has bankrupted his already-bankrupt country to the point that he needs to strike out at the USA.
This is unfortunate for many reasons, not the least of which is that the whole situation understandably makes the residents of South Korea, particularly those in greater Seoul, very close to the border with North Korea, a bit antsy. I would be finding another place to live, and I would have started that effort a long time ago.
You see, there is a truism about war that people tend to forget, particularly the left and the altruistic children who follow the notion that you can just hand ISIS a case of Pepsi and they will smile and say thanks, when we know they will drink it and then kill you.
That truism is this: Wars do not end when you want them to; your enemy decides when the war is over.
ISIS, for example, has a timeline to win and reach their goal, which is a worldwide caliphate under the dictates of sharia law. That timeline is at least 500 years. They've got time; their version of heaven has plenty of virgins, or raisins, or whatever ancient Arabic says their martyrs will find there. So they're not likely to decide that the war with the evil West is over, not anytime soon, and likely not until they're all dead and the despicable ideology, that allows them to murder innocents even of their own faith, is extinguished.
So it is with North Korea and Not-So-Li'l Kim.
Kim is in a desperate state. He cannot feed his people, so in order to maintain his position as Exalted Grand Pooh-Bah, the "dear leader" needs to make anyone but himself the villain of his collective society. He can't make China the enemy; China is the only place he can sell his nation's scant resources and products -- and it was a major victory for the Trump Administration's foreign policy when China backed off importing North Korean coal.
It is always easy to make the USA the foil, and Kim is simply following a script used by Cuba, Venezuela, Russia and Iran to mask the ills of their own economies. Except that where we were not so directly threatened by Cuba (directly) or Venezuela, North Korea has nothing left but a military and a hostage or two.
North Korea has nuclear weapons, has vowed to use them, and is constantly testing missiles to deliver them, presumably to South Korea, although the testing will include longer-range delivery systems with our west coast and Pacific islands in range.
While this is an obvious test for the Trump Administration, this is a test for the left and the remaining Obamists as well. Do you doubt that Kim would strike us tomorrow? Do you doubt that Kim would strike South Korea now with nuclear weapons if he woke up with an upset stomach, a cough or a hangover?
At what point does the USA have to decide that we are a guardian of the democracies in the area, particularly South Korea and Japan and, assuming we have that technology, begin to down those missiles as soon as they are tested? Granted, as we all want to forestall any military action at any level, we want to give diplomatic outreach through China a chance.
But the axiom is upon us now. We will not decide when this conflict is over; North Korea will. And if it becomes evident that Kim is taking actions far beyond the nuclear treaty his nation signed before his ascent to the supreme leadership there, we have to weigh the value of a preemptive action against the fear of waiting for that nut case to drop a nuke on Seoul -- or try to send one to Seattle or Maui.
President Trump knows that, and President Xi of China knows it as well. They need to give Kim a deadline and a joint ultimatum -- you will stop your missile testing, dismantle your nukes and cease hostilities by this date, or you will be destroyed. And we can do it.
Either he doesn't understand, or he will back down -- or launch something and be destroyed in the response. But all the little murderer knows is threats and violence, and there is a time when such people need to be removed. If it is done by China and the USA together, well, all the better.
Unless he decides to stop the war. He is the enemy; it is his call.
Copyright 2017 by Robert Sutton
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