After a day of the world waiting and watching, North Korea has launched another missile. This is not at all unexpected, and not a reason for the war drums to increase their volume simply because it fits a pattern that we have seen over and over before. Again, this was NOT unexpected, so everyone needs to take some deep breaths and calm down.
North Korea is a state that is like Amway from Bizarro World on Steroids that possesses the mentality of a small, spoiled child. Reasoning with North Korea will always be a difficult thing to do because NK will always try to behave as strong when they are weak. NK will always try to appear as defending themselves when they are actually threatening others.
NK history is not all that complex. Kim Il Sung was the first leader of NK and he behaved like all tyrants. He masked his criminal state under the veil of Communism while he actually was building a paranoid and personality cult driven state. He succeeded in eliminating his opponents and initiated the belief that he was a god. This was accomplished by indoctrinating the youth of NK over the course of his life. Kim Il SUng remained in power until his death in 1994. This was an approach similar to Hitler and Stalin, and the length of time that he was in charge served to magnify the extent of the damage that he did to NK.
After Kim Il Sung died, his son Kim Jung Il assumed power in exactly the way that a medieval prince would become King after the death of his father. While dressed up to appear as a legitimate succession based on political procedures, it was just the son taking over the criminal enterprise from his father. He continued the disastrous policies of his father and accelerated them. His agricultural policies, based on a warped view of society ,science and economics, brought famine to NK. Brutal oppression was continuous, and in order to obtain capital to keep his failed state afloat, NK began operating in the world of terrorism as a sponsor as well as in the world of drugs. Once again this is the action of a criminal and not of a leader.
Rather than use the capital he managed to bring into NK to alleviate the suffering of his own people, or to help move the country forward, Kim Jong Il began to use that income to obtain technology in the attempt to obtain nuclear weapons. Multiple attempts by the rest of the world to deal with this problem were met with the responses one would expect from the spoiled, rich child that alienates everyone around him.
Now we have Kim Jong Un in power, you guessed it, another imperial transfer of power from father to son. The latest in the series of insane megalomaniacs has succeeded in obtaining nuclear weapons and is working on the technology to use them with missiles that are designed to attack others. This has always been alarming, but the latest test was NOT unexpected because the leadership of NK remains intact.
I do not believe that NK would ever launch a nuclear strike. I say this because it is the ultimate act of self-mutilation for leaders who see themselves as the most beautiful people on the planet. It would also mean that their reign of leadership and extortion over NK would end and their fortunes would disappear and they would die. People who see themselves in this way are not as likely to commit suicide on a national scale as would a Hitler, who launched a war based on hatred that was based on racism. The leaders of NK want to remain in power so they can continue to be rich.
And so, we are at the point we are at today. Eliminating the NK leadership would seem to be the most prudent thing to do, but it is not without its own risks. We are dealing with people who are well and truly brainwashed and would initially resist such an attempt and respond in force. I believe that this would also result in mass casualties on all sides.
On the other hand, behavior such as NK has displayed cannot be allowed to continue without consequences. The key is to finding out what those consequences will be without overreacting and making things worse. So put the war drums away and let us figure this out together before someone makes a terrible miscalculation and that results in the deaths of thousands.