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Bowl Cut Jr.: Hmm . . . maybe I'll nuke Guam
He might actually have the ability to do it. He certainly doesn't have any moral qualms. Oh sure, it would invite retaliation so massive, he would surely not survive and his prison colony of a country would be turned to a sheet of glass, but he could always take out Seoul and Tokyo as he goes out in a blaze of glory.
Back in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan first proposed missile defense systems, it was somewhat about strategic advantage vis-a-vis the Soviets, but it was more urgently about the possibility that one day a lunatic would get his hands on nuclear weapons and would not be the least bit reticent about using them. Democrats scoffed at this, and for decades either blocked or dragged their feet on development of such systems. Today we're scrambling to get them ready, because the lunatic is in our midst:
Pyongyang said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, an island of around 162,000 in the western Pacific and the site of a U.S. military base that hosts a submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.
A Korean People's Army (KPA) spokesman, in a statement carried by state-run KCNA news agency, said the plan would be put into practice at any moment once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.
In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also accused the United States of devising a "preventive war" and said any plans to execute this would be met with an "all-out war wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the U.S. mainland".
Washington has warned it is ready to use force if need be to stop North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programmes but that it prefers global diplomatic action, including sanctions.
Speaking to reporters in New Jersey on Tuesday, Trump issued his strongest warning yet for North Korea.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," Trump said.
The recent UN resolution - passed without a veto from Russia or China - puts some significant restrictions on North Korea's ability to engage with the world's banking system. But typical of anything the UN does, it left out the biggest economic weapon it could have wielded against the Norks, which is a complete embargo against their coal. That's North Korea's biggest import, bringing in at least $3 billion a year to prop up Bowl Cut Jr.'s regime - including the funding of his nuclear ambitions.
Take that away from him and he very well may not survive. But alas, the coal exports keep flowing and enough companies happily buy that he lives to threaten Guam . . . and beyond.
I wonder if the world is finally figuring out that one day this guy is going to use these nuclear weapons. He's not rational. He's not intelligent. He's not strategic. It used to be that he would saber-rattle like this and we'd send him more food aid or something, and the whole thing would appear to be an annoying bur fairly harmless game. I suppose you could try to tell yourself that he's merely taken the game up a notch because if he doesn't test these weapons no one will be afraid of the threat, and no one will send him the goodies he needs.
Same as with Iran, I've always believed that if an evil regime threatens to do something evil, you have no choice but to proceed as though they mean it. You don't assure yourself, "Oh, they're rational state actors and they know this would be suicide. They just want something so go give it to them." Because in case you hadn't noticed, world history is replete with stories of evil men who perpetrated horrible acts when they thought they needed to in order to protect their positions of power. And often it's the people we find out later are not very mentally stable.
There is only one way to resolve this thing, and it's to remove Kim Jong Un and his entire regime from power. If we can do that through internal sabotage and war isn't necessary, that would clearly be preferable. But if it doesn't happen one way or the other, and soon, he's going to nuke someone. I hope, and I suspect, that President Trump's team is getting a variety of scenarios ready - including the deployment of missile defense systems in Seoul and Tokyo.
This madness has to end, both for the survival of the North Korean people and for the security of the United States - and the rest of the world too.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!