A 30 year old man sits at the head of the Armed Forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
This young man had had some foreign education. But what he has NOT had may make all the difference in the world for millions of people.
He’s grown up as a child of extreme privilege, doing basically whatever he wanted to do, with little restraint. He’s never moved in the circles most of us move in, and probably has no idea of what life is like for the common prole. Nor, of course, would he have any real concept of consequences.
For perspective, let’s review the life of this fellow’s grandfather. His grandpa had been a guerilla for decades when he rode into Pyongyang at the head of the Soviet occupation army. Like the present leader, his grandpa was a young man when he took over as leader, though he did indeed have a couple of decades of fighting under his belt. In spite of the horrors of war that his grandpa knew all too well, his youthful inexperience with being a leader led him to conclude that he could win a military campaign to bring the southern half of Korea under his leadership. And that young man’s gamble cost at least 3,000,000 Korean lives, and left the entire peninsula utterly destroyed.
This young man knows nothing of war. As a result, I’d wager that he’s more likely than even his grandpa was to gamble a little.
I keep seeing these political cartoons that highlight the supposed weakness of the DPRK, and the buffoonery of its leader. This completely ignores that, weak or not, the DPRK has thousands of hardened artillery sites within range of Seoul.The warning for a sudden release of an artillery volley on Seoul can only be measured in seconds, not minutes. Win or lose an actual war, the DPRK can utterly flatten Seoul before anything can be done to stop it from happening. At least tens of thousands will die within minutes, and the economy of the Republic of Korea will be destroyed. Whatever happens to the DPRK at that point is almost irrelevant.
Those of us in America seem to think that the situation in Korea is some kind of a high-tech video game. It isn’t. Millions of lives are on the line. This is nothing to be joking about.