Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to Get Yourself Blown Up - North Korea Could Give Lessons

 All the blustering that North Korea's diminutive leader, Kim Jong Un is doing lately, just may get his country turned into a sheet of radioactive glass if he's not careful.  Kim's high-testosterone postering may be an effort to mask the 29 year-olds apparently tentative hold on power in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.  Kim came to power with fewer supporters than any previous leader since 1949 and his probably misguided attempts to shift the power structure in North Korea from the military to the Party and security apparatus may have made trigger fingers itchy among the generals, who seem more than a little concerned about the security of their own positions.

Kim Jong Un has shut down some of the North Korean military's favorite money-making activities like overseas investment and the notorious "Room 39", a black market operation that counterfeits US currency, smuggles drugs and produces a significant portion of the world's fake Viagra.  He's even fired top flag officers like Vice-Marshall Ri Yong Ho.

China, busy with its own internal political turmoil hasn't helped any in toning Kim down. In fact they've handed the North Koreans at least six mobile missile launchers, increasing Kim's launch capability.

In what is apparently a behind the scenes attempt to shift the Communist party  to preeminence in the new government, Kim's supporters have created unrest among the folk who have their hands on North Korea's nuclear trigger. In typical tin-pot despot fashion, Kim has resorted to a display of his manhood as a way to get his troops in line and focused on an outside threat - any outside threat - that will draw attention away from his ineptitude as a leader.

Unfortunately, he's chosen a poor target for his threats.  He might get away with it if he had a conservative or even moderate Republican in the White House. Ronald Reagan probably would have issued a warning and then blown up all his missiles and shot the back porch off his house while he was at it.  The Bushes would have spent a year organizing a coalition and given Kim plenty of time to ratchet down the rhetoric. Unfortunately, he has a liberal Democrat sitting in the oval office.

It is axiomatic among criminals that if you had a choice of cops pointing a gun at you, that you'd be far better off if that cop were a man. Bad guys are far more frightened if a woman is looking down the barrel of a gun at them than if it's a man back there.  They belief among criminals that a woman is more likely to pull the trigger than a man is probably based at least on anecdotal evidence.

The thinking is that a man is stronger and more aggressive by nature, therefore is more in control of his decision to shoot than a woman who is seen by hoodlums as weaker and less aggressive, but more easily frightened and therefore more likely to shoot if threatened.

With the increasingly wimpy commander-in-chief the US currently has calling the shots, Kim may find himself threatening someone who is more likely to be frightened and to shoot first. Though whatever shot Barak Obama may take may be less deliberate, Kim Jong Un should remember that it doesn't take much accuracy or planning to hit a target with a nuke.  For every nuke he can point at the US, he's got 50 that can be quickly pointed in his direction.

 With a Bush or Reagan, Kim would have plenty of warning that all hell was fixing to break loose. If he's counting on that with this president, however, he may have seriously misjudged the situation. And if Obama closes his eyes and squeezes the trigger, heaven only knows what or who he might hit.

(c) 2013 by Tom King

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