So North Korea (Chosun, DPRK, whatever) has tested another nuclear weapon. Unlike the last test which was widely thought to have fizzled, this test appears to have been a success. And, at about 20KT, comparable to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a the close of WWII.
This does not, of course, mean that they have something that they can mount on a missile. And from what we’ve seen, it’s not like they have a working long-range missile anyway. By most accounts, it will take them at least a couple more tests to get to that point.
The Obama Administration has reacted the same way that previous ones have. A warning of dire consequences and an attempt to restart talks.
DPRK has responded by declaring the 1953 truce to be void, and every time anyone says anything – seemingly anything at all – they call it an Act of War.
So where does this leave us?
I’m beginning to think that this is all a big joke, and I’m really starting to think that the best approach to North Korea would be to ignore it. Completely. Like so:
NK: “Hey, USA! We’re going to test a nuke!”
USA: (Yawn) “What’s on CBS?”
NK: “Really, we’re going to test, and we’re restarting Yongbyon!”
USA: “Oh look, Dave’s got Madonna on again – we can’t miss this.”
NK: “Okay, we’re going to do it now!”
And really, after that, who cares? Why should we care what they do?
Here are a couple of reasons why we’re supposed to care:
- North Korea has enough arillery in range of Seoul to flatten the city in short order, and doing that would be a bad thing.
- They have close to 1.2 Million-strong standing army, and everyone else that can carry a chopstick is said to be in reserve. Basically, the country is a barracks.
- They might have a nuke or two they could deliver on the back of a truck.
- We’re scared of them.
Seriously, I’m tired of it. Tired of it, and I’m nobody. I have no power, no armies at my command, and I’m 39 years old which means I don’t even remember the Korean War. And I’m so tired of this crap. It needs to end so the rest of us can get on with our lives.
I’m worried that Kim Jong Il is losing it. Losing his grip on reality, and maybe losing his grip on his country. It makes me want to tell a story.
Over the weekend I visited an old friend of mine for his 40th birthday party. He held a poker game, $20 buyin, so we played. I lost a couple hands on bad beats that could have gone the other way, and then I went on tilt. I went on tilt because I was frustrated and I wasn’t thinking clearly. I already lost the game and it was going to take something big to get me back in it. So, in for a penny – in for a pound.
And I think the DPRK is on tilt right now. The thing that’s kept me believing that they’ve always been about bluster and brinksmanship – but not actual action – is that Kim Jong Il likes being alive. He drinks Hennesy, like show tunes, writes his own plays and so forth. He hasn’t been a man that you would think is just plain nuts.
But, with him havnig suffered a stroke and obviously looking very gaunt in recent pictures, I’m wondering if he’s still playing with a full deck.
It’s time to call the bluff.