I went out to a nice dinner party (with flamenco!), and I come home to find that Kim Jong Un is threatening to do a nuclear test over the ocean.
One of the things Kim is very sensitive about is being taken seriously. He wants to play with the big boys, to be a real ruler of a real country. Look at the spectacles they put on with their national day parades and card stunts. He tells all those people to make those missiles and to regiment themselves to pay tribute to the glorious leader. He is powerful, and other leaders should take note.
But parades and card stunts go only so far. The way to be taken seriously internationally is to have nuclear weapons. That is part of the reason that Kim has had his people developing them.
Donald Trump has taken his usual route of playground nicknames for Kim. His UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, has praised him for that. A number of commentators have pointed out that Donald Trump’s bluster is an admission of weakness. That is how Kim is taking it, and said so in his latest statement. So Kim is doubling down. He doesn’t like the disrespect.
A part of the commentary has been about how North Korea couldn’t have developed nukes and missiles by themselves. They may have had some help from A.Q. Khan and others, but what they have shown looks to experts like they have done significant development. There’s a lot of information available on how to make nuclear weapons, and your cellphone has more computing power than all of the United States’s weapons complex had in the 1950s, when we developed hydrogen bombs.
So yeah, they could have done it.
There’s also commentary about well, they haven’t put it all together. The fact is that there have been very few tests, probably no more than 5, of missile delivering nuclear weapon, which explodes. There are many ways to get information to make a reentry vehicle containing a bomb robust. We are pretty sure they’ve gotten telemetry from some of their missile tests to tell them what the stresses are, and there are things like shake tables on the ground to test the bomb to reentry stresses.
But if you will not believe, then Kim will show you.
Apparently Kim has made a video to speak directly to Donald Trump.
Kim is difficult to deal with, but there have been signals for some time, if one cares to read them, that could have meant he was willing to talk. Some of us have been saying that that is the only way to resolve this crisis.
Sorry I don’t have links. I saw most of this in my Twitter feed when I got home. Will add them as I can.