It’s another weekend of deja vu it seems, since Ed was telling you just yesterday about North Korea firing short range missiles off their eastern coast. Apparently not satisfied with that outing, Kim Jong-un decided that Sunday would be another fine day for provocation and fired off another one.
Launches by the North of short-range missiles are not uncommon but, after recent warnings from the communist state of impending nuclear war, such actions have raised concerns about the region’s security.
“North Korea fired a short-range missile as it did yesterday into its east sea in the afternoon, ” South Korea’s news agency Yonhap reported, citing a military official.
A South Korean defense ministry official confirmed the Yonhap report, but did not provide any details.
I’ve been thinking a bit about Ed’s analysis from yesterday, and this continued renewal of provocative actions does seem to fit a pattern. There’s certainly a PR element to this, and it could well be the continuation of a rather tardy and weak tea response to the South Korean – US military exercises last month. When you’re trying to convince your low information public that you are still “standing strong” against the United States and the “puppets” of South Korea, you need some fireworks to bolster the rhetoric.
But at the same time, there may indeed be the beginnings of a split inside the government of the DPRK. Even in a totally closed society with no access to international news, where people are fed a diet of anti-American propaganda from birth, they must eventually notice that their citizens are disappearing to secret prison camps. Too many of them know that their nuclear enabled nation is so poor that regular citizens are dying with their mouths full of grass, desperate for even a mouthful of food. They may not have the numbers or the resources (or even the strength) to mount an armed revolt, but some individuals in leadership positions should, I would think, eventually begin trying to nudge the dear leader toward more international cooperation.
But the military is still the big kid on the block, and they are probably the best fed people in the nation to boot. Holding on to power is no doubt a key factor in their policy decisions, and saber rattling at the West serves that interest. Unfortunately for the rest of us, that may mean that the status quo remains in place for another generation.