North Korea will continue on the path toward nuclear weapons, despite President Donald Trump’s threats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants nukes to protect his regime against the fate of dead dictators Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.
Updated April5, 2017
In the lead up to this week’s Florida meet-and-greet with China’s President Xi Jinping, Trump said that if China doesn’t deal with North Korea, then the U.S. will.
The stakes got higher on Wednesday, as North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile, timed to come right before Trump’s meeting with Xi. The missile plunged into the Sea of Japan, and is one of a string of recent missile tests by Pyongyang.
But China’s influence over North Korea has been overstated, and North Korea will continue to do what it wants.
That’s because North Korea’s boy-king Kim Jong Un comes from a family of cunning survivors. North Korea has always has been an acute geopolitical observer. That’s part of how the regime has survived for over 60 years, despite the fact that it has allowed millions of its people to starve to death, and despite utter brutality toward the population, especially women.
North Korea looked around the world after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and what it saw made the regime piss its pants.
Pyongyang officials were quaking in their boots as the world’s only superpower overthrew medieval dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Saddam was hunted down like prey, put on trial in front of the entire planet and executed. In his last days, he resembled a pathetic homeless man more than he did one of the world’s most brutal dictators.
North Korea also watched in horror as the administration of President Barack Obama overthrew Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Pyongyang bit its nails as Gaddafi was beaten to death by a local militia after his overthrow. His dead body was stored in a freezer in a local outdoor market, and folks nationwide came to gawk at the deceased despot.
That’s Kim Jong Un’s worst nightmare, and he’ll do anything to prevent this from happening. That’s why he’ll never give up his nukes, no matter what Trump offers or threatens.
In Kim’s world, leaders are not only overthrown, but are brutally murdered, along with their families and cronies.
Indeed, that’s just what the boy-king did when he took power after father Kim Jong Il died in 2011. In a public execution, Kim the younger executed his own uncle – North Korea’s former no. 2 man, Jang Song-Thaek – in a bid to rid elite circles of anyone who’d be a threat to the young ruler.
Jang Song-Thaek was popular with North Koreans, and favored economic reform. That was a threat to the Kim family, as economic modernization and capitalism is empowering to the little man.
Now, North Korea’s elite are living in a state of fear, as Kim has purged many of his father’s trusted advisors. According to South Korean intelligence, Jang Song-Thaek was first forced to watch as his staff was executed in public, and allegedly passed out during the ordeal. Jang Song-Thaek was then shot with an anti-aircraft missile.
Kim Jong Un also had his own aunt poisoned to death. And in recent weeks Kim had his own brother killed by alleged female assailants in Malaysia.
Kim may be an incompetent leader, but he’s not concerned with leading. His only concern – and that of his father – has always been the survival of his regime.
North Korea has survived sanctions before, and the thugs in government have always – and will always — find a way to keep their party going while the population starves.
North Korea’s nuclear program is here to stay.
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