Kim Jung-un: Thoughtless, or crafty fiend

opinions

August 2, 2017 - 12:00 AM

Kim Jung-un seems like a megalomaniac with a goofy haircut, but under those outward appearances may be a despot far more calculating than the legion of talking heads on 24-hour so-called news channels would have us  think.
An AP analysis in Tuesday’s Register pointed out that while Kim has resisted efforts by friends (what few North Korea has) and foes to quit marching toward intercontinental nuclear capability, sufficient aid to sustain the country, albeit at a level most Americans would find lacking, is a daily fact of life.
Most generous is China’s — for selfish reasons. Trade with Beijing is 90 percent of the North’s and the Chinese send 500,000 tons of crude oil each year to the country, most for free. That keeps North Korea as a buffer between China and American troops in the South.
North Korea also is a source of cheap labor for China, as well as Russia.
But, the crux of the fledgling cold war status with North Korea, pitted again unfathomable power of the U.S. and its allies, may well be strategy on Kim’s part to become nuclear capable to strengthen his hand in negotiation.
We doubt if Kim and his advisors honestly think they can do more than prod the U.S. into the North’s destruction in the aftermath of any nuclear-tipped missile attack on the American mainland, or against one of our protectorates or allies.
Thus, Kim, unless he is indeed a madman, must know that dealing from a position of strength enhanced with ICBMs will give his country enough significance to demand, and probably receive, lessening of sanctions and perhaps even a better life for the populace, although we doubt he cares about anyone but himself, a handful of concubines and maybe Dennis Rodman.
On the other hand, if Kim is as he sometimes seems, a dreadful outcome may be brewing.

MEANWHILE, we can’t be completely certain of what would occur if Kim stepped over the line.
Trump often is full of bluster, and he also has a tendency, as too many events since his ascendency have shown, to act impetuously and without regard for consequences.
The last thing we need as a nation — and a world — is a nuclear exchange. The only one to date —to our favor against the Japanese — occurred 72 years ago this coming Sunday and Wednesday of next week when atomic bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Those extraordinary events ended World War II in the Pacific Theater, saved countless American lives that would have been lost in an invasion, but also showed in far too graphic detail what a nuclear blast, even as small as those were in comparison to today’s, can do.

J. ROBERT Oppenheimer, instrumental in developing the WWII atomic bombs, prophetically said:
“If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima.”
And curse them we should, as well as Kim, whose itchy trigger finger could deliver more than even he ever imagined possible.

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