Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Facsimile of Reasonableness

If we continue on this path of confrontation, this will lead to very catastrophic results, not only for the two countries but for the whole entire world as well."
"It is really crucial for the United States government to withdraw its hostile policy against the DPRK and as an expression of this stop the military exercises, war exercises, in the Korean Peninsula. Then we will respond likewise."
"Stop the nuclear war exercises in the Korean Peninsula, then we should also cease our nuclear tests."
"If the exercises are halted 'for some period, for some years', new opportunities may arise for the two countries and for the whole entire world as well."
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong
North Korea conducts a submarine-fired ballistic missile test
Rodong Sinmun -- North Korean launch of submarine ballistic missile

A bit of sophisticated logic from a North Korean government leader, now that's refreshing. But no less suspicious than when a psychopath uses his intelligence to shield from view his incapacity to feel compassion or interest in anyone's welfare but his own, speaking rationally and normally as a ruse to convince an outsider that the person who is speaking is of sound mind and to be trusted. The North Korean leadership is decidedly not, collectively, of sound mind.

This is a regime headed by a self-proclaimed demi-divine whose every whim is to be obeyed however harmful it may be to the society he represents, a man whose overweening entitlement is never to be denied, a man whose volatile and sinister temperament translates into a death sentence even for close family members who fall under suspicion. A man who prefers to use his country's scarce resources not to feed an indigent population, but to feed a military technology industry.

A regime that bridles with feigned outrage at presumed humiliations and threatens its neighbours, and occasionally attacks them, exacting revenge for purported 'indignities' imposed upon their perceived dignity, by killing hapless crew members of a bombed vessel, for example. A Dear Leader who enjoys the notoriety he has earned for incendiary threats and for surprise nuclear tests and ballistic missile firing to alert his neighbours of his presence, as though they could overlook it.

According to Foreign Minister Ri, Pyongyang has every right to maintain a nuclear deterrent program that toothless international sanctions cannot halt, because the United States' activities in his region drives North Korea to develop those nuclear weapons in a self-defence response. This would represent a credible argument if it came from almost any country other than North Korea. But it emanates from a country that refuses to be self-accountable and responsible for its own welfare.

One that gloats and threatens its neighbours who shudder at the potential of a neurotic little man with the destructive power of harming peoples' lives in prison farms and starvation, and who looks outward to destabilizing the peninsula with impunity because what can rational people do to react forcefully with irrational actors who will let nothing stop their need to be noticed and feared?

Threats of a thermonuclear war are not child's play, particularly when the regime posing the threat has some of the means to make good its threats. Pyongyang insists that the joint training sessions between its major enemies, South Korea and the United States are prodding the North to a fifth nuclear test in response to the threat North Korea sees as one of "decapitation", a strike on its leadership.

The boasting threats of Kim Jong-un referring to long-range ballistic missiles able to reach the U.S. West coast with nuclear warheads may overstate the North's capabilities at present, but it is steadily moving toward its aspired endgame. The submarine-launched ballistic missile episode of several days ago in response to the U.S.-South Korean exercises represents a show of strength and the potential to wreak havoc, which cannot be swept aside with impunity.

Kim Jong-un reportedly oversaw a submarine-launched ballistic missile test
Kim Jong-un states that North Korea has the ability to strike Seoul and the United States

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