The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
Published 5/29/13 | Log In
Nuclear testing shouldn’t be the main concern
By JOSH FLYNN, Features Editor
Published: February 20, 2013
With the rise of Kim Jong-un to leadership of North Korea upon his father’s death, there were those who had their fingers crossed that the western-educated, NBA-loving dictator might have gone in a different direction than both his father and grandfather.
But it would not be so. Kim would follow in daddy’s foot-steps and continue to uphold the totalitarian regime his grandfather established.
A year after he took over, we find a North Korea not only just as solid on their communist stance, but also just as feisty, if not more.
Last week they went ahead and tested another nuke, just in time for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Tell me that wasn’t timed.
It all narrows down to one question: Is North Korea a threat and, if so, how big? I wish there were an easy way to answer this, but it’s not as black and white as we may like to think. Yes, they are a threat, but not for the reasons we might expect.
Remember that one friendless kid on the playground in grade school who thought he was big enough to take on the massive sixth grader that could easily knock his teeth out? The sixth grader can easily take him out while suffering perhaps a few small bites and a harsh reprimand, but he doesn’t want to because it’ll spark something on the playground, and he knows he won’t walk away completely clean or unhurt.
The bottom line is that it will cost him, and he knows it.
What we have with North Korea is a country that operates under a very unique philosophy, making it a very unique situation. It’s called “Juche.”
Juche, in a nutshell, is their way of telling the world, “up yours, we can and will do it ourselves. And by the way, we can and will crush the imperialist swine (they mean us, of course) whom we fought over back in the early 50s.”
Entertaining to our western democratic ears?
Yes, but not so much when you consider the ramifications of the fact that they actually do believe in this to the point that their every action is motivated by it.
They truly believe they have it well there and with a leader like Kim (who was named one of the sexiest men alive by The Onion. Chinese news outlets took it seriously), they aren’t afraid to take the rest of the world down with them to get over a 60-year-old grudge.
So let’s hash out some facts on the situation.
Are they testing nukes? Yes.
Do they have a nuke able to hit the U.S.? Nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker told the Los Angeles Times they do not.
They may set off nukes, but they do not have ICBM’s (Inter-continental-ballistic-missiles).
According to the Department of Defense, North Korea’s army exceeds one million troops. But while they have a large number, it’s almost certainly a malnourished one. Not long ago there were rumors of cases of cannibalism within their borders. Beside the food shortage, it’s not uncommon to see old beer bottles used to hold fluid for an IV drip in their hospitals or rotary phones on their side of the DMZ.
Google search a satellite image of their country. You’ll find more electrical activity in an Amish community.
Do they exhibit the kind of behavior to suggest that they will try something stupid, much like a guy trying a performing a crazy stunt he’s never done before to show off for his girlfriend and in the process making a fool of himself? Yes.
And this is where it gets scary. While the rest of the world will look at their actions as folly, they will see it as something glorious. And by glorious, I mean they aren’t afraid of taking the rest of the world down with them — they see it as something real.
Bottom line is this: North Korea is the kid on the playground who is lost in the illusion that they are something bigger than they are; they don’t realize what could happen to them if they take on the sixth grader.
The other kids on the playground have tried reasoning, but the little kid won’t listen. While I do not wish to condone any kind of war, it seems that it’s reaching a breaking point with North Korea, and this breaking point won’t just affect the United States.
North Korea keeps pushing the line, and soon they will try something reckless. It doesn’t help that China seems to back them half the time, either.
I wish I could say I have a solution, but all I know is this: their leadership is not in touch with reality, and sometimes detachment can be a greater threat to man-power, nuclear-power and, in their case, the most extreme case of a communist totalitarian government the world has ever seen.