Can we call for a moratorium on paying attention to North Korea now? Has it been long enough?
I know that everyone’s afraid of World War III starting over in the Asia-Pacific region, but I think it’s time that we kind of just relaxed a little bit. Yes, North Korea is one of the most isolated countries in the world with a citizenry that’s thoroughly ideologically indoctrinated, but let’s be honest here: Kim Jong Un may have a two-dollar haircut but he’s not crazy nor is he an idiot. He knows that picking a fight with South Korea, Japan, or the US would ed up in the complete eradication of his country, and while he may or may not care about the millions of North Koreans that worship the ground he walks on, you can bet that he’ not exactly keen on ending his life in a firestorm of radioactivity.
This whole thing – the posturing, the empty threats, and the loud, provocative rhetoric – is little more than the North Korean equivalent of a child acting out in order to gain attention from his or her parents. The Democratic People’s Republic of Best Korea (its official title, I assure you) can’t even keep the lights on in many of its major cities; it’s not going to be keen to get itself bombed into the Stone Age, even if that would be an improvement. This is just saber-rattling, and unfortunately the 24 hour news outlets are more than happy to feed into this borderline hysteria by running hours of “high quality” programming about how crazy and unstable North Korea’s regime is, but let’s keep something in mind: there has never been a regime crazy enough to actually deploy nuclear weaponry outside of the United States during the final day of World War II.
That’ right, even with all the Cold War posturing between the USSR, Cuba, and America, not a single nuclear warhead was fired in all that time because after the world saw what nuclear weapons did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we all realized what horrors we had potentially unleashed on the world and strove to make sure that such a horrible fate didn’t befall us. Even nuclear powers like India and Pakistan, two countries that can’t stand one another, haven’t nuked the everliving hell out of each other yet, despite having viable nuclear weaponry for years, but we’re worried that North Korea is going to push the button and end civilization as we know it?
If you’re really worried about what North Korea is up to, you should be wondering if they didn’t pull a Manchurian Candidate on Dennis Rodman while he was there. Be on the lookout for any uncharacteristic erratic behavior on his part; it might be evidence of North Korean programming. Then again, this is Dennis Rodman; how would you tell?