So what is the righteous benevolent one, Kim Jong-loon up to? Meeting slightly idiotic former sports stars is harmless enough, assuming said former sports star can turn a blind eye to the murder, torture, rape and brutality that is Yodok camp. Google it. Rodman could have. Personally, I try not to cuddle up to murdering sociopaths, but each to his own.
Setting aside trivia, he maybe fancying a war. Well, on the face of it, he is sabre rattling a-plenty and making all manner of blood curdling threats, but as in all things North Korean, we must ask, is he actually doing it? This is a guessing game, but as far as I can tell, it looks like Kim is indeed bossing this. The military maybe driving him, but one way or another, he is in the lead.
So question the second, does he actually want a war? Surely not. We have no real way of knowing how intelligent this Korean Commodus is. If you were a tutor, would you give him a ‘B’ grade? So pretty much the entire education structure in the North will have told him he is bright as hell and it’s hard to get an idea of your limitations when no-one tells you that you have any. Nonetheless, there must surely be someone in the North who would say “Er, look, you might be the fattest bloke in North Korea but attacking the USA and/or the south would be bloody stupid”
Maybe it’s the Fuhrer complex when no-one can say “No Sir” Maybe it’s the whole ‘Iraqi invasion of Kuwait’ syndrome when it’s obvious to all and sundry, except for the perpetrator, that the idea is stupid, but I don’t believe this.
The reason I don’t believe an invasion or an attack is imminent is simply this. If you are about to attack, you don’t advertise it. The North could hardly have been more bellicose and they must be aware of their limitations in terms of fuel supplies for tanks, trucks and aircraft. Technologically they are a joke compared to the USA. Their pilots would never see the jets that killed them and they would have no means to even engage the stealth bombers that could visit Pyong-Yang after dark.
Similarly, even if you could deliver the primitive nukes (there is some suggestion they are too big to put in a missile) would you honestly not expect the North to be a glass car park ten minutes later? Who would vote for the end of their own total power even in a reduced fiefdom like the North?
So, never rule out insanity or erratic decision making, but I can’t see any serious shooting, the odd artillery duel notwithstanding. So what is he up to? It’s the age old story of distracting your own populace from their empty stomachs by conjuring up an external threat coupled with a bit of blackmail. He is after food, fuel, money, a bit of international attention and possibly some internal power consolidation.
Predictions are a dicey business, but I just can’t see this coming to anything. Not deliberately anyway, but rattling the sabre is a risky old business.