North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un is quickly proving to be, like his father Kim Jong-Il and grandfather Kim Il-Sung, adept at the art of trolling. His latest comments to military troops about potentially destroying a South Korean island and turn it into a “sea of fire” have American officials predictably jumping in response.
Top U.S. intelligence officials testified Tuesday that they’re “very concerned” the “belligerent” rhetoric out of North Korea could presage an attack on its southern neighbor.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, along with the heads of the CIA and FBI, delivered the intelligence community’s overview of global threats before the Senate Intelligence Committee. They were pressed on the recent and persistent warnings from Pyongyang, which just announced it was “completely scrapping” the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.
Asked whether the regime could take “provocative action” that leads to hostilities with South Korea, Clapper said “absolutely.”
“The rhetoric, while it is propaganda-laced, is also an indicator of their attitude and perhaps their intent,” Clapper said. “I am very concerned about what they might do.”
Specifically, he warned of the possibility of “provocative action against the South.”
Sorry, I’m not buying it. Kim Jong-Un is doing what his father and grandfather did for decades, making outrageous remarks to show his people how strong he is. But on the list of things I worry about, a North Korean attack and impending war falls somewhere between losing a sock in the dryer and a Jefferson Starship reunion tour. He poses zero threat to the United States and not much more to South Korea.
If he did decide to attack South Korea, I don’t even think we would need to respond to it. I think China would yank his chain and maybe even remove him from power. They treat North Korea as a yappy little dog and that’s the way we should treat them as well. And there’s no way in hell China is going to risk a war with the United State over North Korea; there’s simply too much money at stake and they know it.
The man is a troll. And the only way to handle a troll is to ignore them. But America’s defense and intelligence community has a vested interest in responding to him and drawing attention to his propaganda. Doing so helps them keep Americans perpetually scared and thus supportive of continuing to spend more on “defense” than nearly every other country in the world combined.