Every year I hear the same news story: North Korea threatens World War III. You know the tale by now. The dictator of North Korea is a madman ready to end the world if he doesn’t get his Ann Takamaki body pillow on time. While Kim Jong-Un lavishes himself in luxury and delusion his people suffer, then he threatens to nuke the world because he's desperate for respect. Let’s all point and laugh at this pathetic nation and its weird dorky leader.
Right now we’re in the latest round of this semi-annual ritual. Kim Jong-Un is going to make some apocalyptic threats, the news will dutifully spin the story for maximum panic. Then in a week this will all pass over. So it goes year after year.
The eyes of the media are still focused on Syria thanks to a grand piece of theater on Donald Trump’s part last week. But while Syria has been a festering ulcer for years now, it isn’t an immediate danger. North Korea is. Kim Jong-Un's threats to nuke the United States are dubious but his threats on cities like Seoul and Tokyo are very real. North Korea has been the most dangerous flashpoint of the world for decades. Any time it heats up, no matter how ridiculous the threat, is something that needs to be a taken seriously. Taking things seriously is something our current president Donald Trump just doesn't seem to do. Now in 2017 you have the unpredictability of the Trump administration facing off against a nuclear state with its back against the wall. This is deeply worrisome.
North Korea is a terrible nation that rightly should be evaporated off the map forever. It’s one of the final evils that Communism has left behind. (Thanks, Stalin.) But no matter how bad the other side is, this newest crisis is one largely of our own making. For no good reason the US is suddenly acting very aggressively in the region. We now represent a considerable threat, even if we don’t realize it. Trump’s chaotic governing style is no longer just a problem for Washington, it’s a problem for everybody.