The “situation” with North Korea and its portly dear leader, Kim Jong Un, has only gotten more interesting over the last few weeks.
Most Americans took the North (i.e. Best) Korea’s latest declarations of worldwide nuclear annihilation with resignation, like we’ve always done. Most of us know that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) can’t get a missile to mainland America because it’ll be too hard to throw one that far.
Sure, there’s always a modicum of caution in the back of our minds, but it’s like being worried about saying “Bloody Mary” three times in a dark bathroom. You know nothing’s really going to happen, but it makes you a little nervous nonetheless.
Peripherally nervous, mind you. Nobody here in Texas even fancifully considered they’d hit us here. Maybe the coasts; Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., but not the Lone Star state.
Yet Kim Jong Un’s attack plan looks to include all of the above.
Even stranger, it appears they’re targeting Austin, Texas specifically. Is Un upset (Do you call him that? Maybe Jong? Big Kim?) that he wasn’t invited to South by Southwest?
Austin is a strange target, to say the least. Yeah, it’s the capital, but its not really a valid military target. San Antonio or Houston would sort of make sense, there are bases there after all, but unless Kim Jong Un wants to strike a blow against college hipsters, Rick Perry and other bastions of intellectual vapidity, Austin is a bad choice.
To be honest, all of Texas is a bad choice. We know the North Korean civilians are brainwashed and sheltered, but surely their leadership knows how colossally idiotic a strike on Texas would be.
Consider that we’ve got leaders that regularly tell our own national government to kiss its ass, a civilian populace that’s armed to the teeth, and a state military that puts most national ones to shame, you can see why putting yourself in a Texan’s line of sight might be unwise.
In reality, North Korea’s choice of missile targets probably went something like this:
“OK guys, I got the map of America, don’t mind the crayon scribbles, so where are we going to attack?”
“Dear Leader, we can’t actually HIT America with our glorious missiles, we just say we’re going to attack in order to extort food and aid from the other nations of the world.”
“Sure, whatever, so where do we SAY we’re going to hit?”
“Well, the main cities of the U.S. We could conceivably attack if we weren’t using technology from the 1950s Korean war.”
“That’s the edges, what about the big middle part?”
“Well, Texas is kind of big I guess.”
“Great, where in Texas, like what’s the capital?”
“It’s Austin, but-”
“Awesome, send it to the printers, and by that I mean: Send it to the gulag where we literally work and torture people to death.”
It’s not a good situation, make no mistake, and the high tension atmosphere of the discourse, while not unprecedented, is worrying. This is the first international incident Kim Jong Un has had to deal with, ever since taking power from his father, Kim Jong Il. Un could be keeping in line with the typical North Korean aid extortion plan, or he may be posturing in order to keep face with his military council.
But there is the distinct possibility Un is crazier and more deluded than we know. The DPRK can’t hurt mainland America, but they can hit our ally; South Korea. The North has a cornucopia of artillery trained on the South Korean capital of Seoul, and even though any attack would be followed by a veritable rain of fire by combined South Korean and American forces, millions would die in the initial attack.
This is to say nothing of the difficulty involved with cleaning up after a conflict with the DPRK. Refugees would flood into China, the rest, horrifically malnourished, would have to be taken care of by South Korea and America.
The situation in North Korea may not change any time soon, but it will almost certainly come to a head in our lifetimes. Though its astronomically unlikely we’ll be directly attacked, we need to be prepared to be affected by the regime’s fall.