Well, he’s at it again. Well, we think it’s Kim Jong-Il at it again, though we can’t be entirely sure.
North Korea’s periodic saber-rattling comes as no surprise. They’ve been at it for a little while now. The combination of a new nuclear test, restarting its nuclear program, launching a satellite long-range ballistic missile and now short-range missiles, and saying it will no longer acknowledge the terms of the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War.
The international community has been pretty clear in its demands that North Korea cease and desist in its latest round of belligerent behavior but, aside from the usual causes for spouting off and the notion that the DPRK is poking a still-new U.S. president, there is some thinking that this has to do more with the Dear Leader’s health than anything else. In fact, this seems to be exactly what regimes like this do when there is, or is about to be, a leadership vacuum, to scare everybody off while they sort through their own internal power struggles.
Makes Dr. Strangelove look sane by comparison. Taking further provocative action doesn’t seem to be in North Korea’s interest, even from their perspective. So, I can only hope what we’re seeing is an effort to ward off any effort to take advantage of a change in regime, because most of the alternatives only get uglier from there.