With The People’s Republic of China confirming the northern Korea has been conducting live-fire drills near its border with the PRC, and with northern Korea having closed the Kaesong factory complex jointly run by northern Korea and the Republic of Korea—the last formal tie between nK and the RoK—a rude thought occurs to me.
Is Kim the Youngest smarter, more Machiavellian, than we give him credit for?
He has to know, after vacationingschooling in Switzerland as a younger youth just how badly off the northern Korean people are. He might even consider them “his” people. If he does, and if he’s of a mind to do anything about it, he also has to know that proposing reunification talks—a lá occupied Germany and the FRG—both is a death sentence for him and will blow up the government. After all, the PRC has not fallen, and so it can still prop up a follow-on nK government, even if like the failed Soviet Union, it has no interest in bettering the lives of commoners. The blowup, then, would have no effect vis-à-vis the outside world; although it would make things even worse internally, especially during the turmoil.
So, what’s a boy to do? Start a fight he knows he can’t win, lose the fight, and get occupied. If he burns a few (tens of thousands of) innocent bodies in the process, well, he is the product of three-plus generations of give-a-s*t about human life.
About all of his bluster and buildup: it might be of a piece with prior blusters, now getting out of control in the hands of a tyro. But his actions sure are guaranteeing that the ones he’s going to attack are very well prepared for that attack.
The rat that roared?
Nah. Probably not.