THE POSEUR FROM PYONGYANG
Beware a 30-year-old leader of a rogue communist state with a bad haircut and Scud missiles.
Comically Sasha Baron Cohen as he sounds, the latest outbreak of sabre rattling from North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has done the job.
The world is rattled by his brinkmanship.
The declaration by North Korea that it’s on a “war footing”, prepared to fire its missiles at US bases in its neighbourhood and even into the United States itself, may have foreign analysts and governments listening. But it has others incredulous at the audacity of the young and untested Kim Jong-un, whose dodgy coiffure has done nothing to stymie his predisposition for self-promotion.
Despite having inherited a poverty-stricken nation, his threats have become louder and in the past few days his determination to hold on to his purported nuclear arsenal, stronger.
As a result, no one knows if the latest threat that Pyongyang might strike against US bases near and far away is anything more than another hollow threat against its old enemy South Korea and Seoul’s ally, the United States, or perhaps – against all odds – real.
(Meanwhile, international news outfits scoff that North Korea is using bad photoshop images to boost its military might. Note in the shot below, the identical shadows on the hovercraft- supposedly ready to attack on an unnamed beach? Image via The Guardian.)
According to North Korean television, the country’s generals are on standby with their fingers poised to press the “strike” button on the young leader’s order. That – according to the North Korean propaganda – would send its missiles firing into US bases in South Korea, Hawaii, Guam and Japan.
And though this might be boasting at its best, North Korea has warned that its long-range capabilities may be greater than the US thinks. North Korean newspapers are carrying vaguely coded messages that Kim may be thinking of sending missiles all the way across the US – from California to South Carolina.
“If the US and the South Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation, it will not be limited to a local war but develop into an all out war, a nuclear war,” said a government official, with a similarly bad haircut to his leader, on state TV.
That’s a development the US is taking seriously.
‘We remain fully prepared and capable of defending and protecting the United States and our allies,” said Caitlin Hayden, the White House National Security spokesperson.
No word from Washington on what responsibility it accepts for North Korea’s move. For months both sides have mounted military drills in a dangerous display of tit-for-tat showing off.
The latest outbreak of war mongering began when the US flew two stealth bombers from the US to the Korean Peninsula. Then they turned around and flew all the way back to the US. It was a very unsubtle message from Washington to Pyongyang, that if it needs to, the US can and will conduct a precision strike.
It was Washington telling the young North Korean leader, “We can! Can you?”
What makes this latest threat so serious is the “who knows” factor.
Pyongyang’s Soviet-era Scud missiles would easily hit South Korea, but the capacity of its longer-range missiles is unknown.
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