North Korea playing dangerous games
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un clearly has no intention of reassuring the rest of the world he is ready to dismantle his arsenal, given his recent publicizing of test-firing a new type of rocket.
It is a tactical weapon, not a long-range missile capable of use against distant foes. Tactical weapons are for battlefield use, not strategic purposes. Had Kim been engaged in serious saber-rattling, something bigger would have been fired.
Still, the test — publicized by Kim’s own press service — was unnerving. And nothing said or done by the United States, South Korea or any other nation recently could be viewed as provocation.
So, what is going on in Pyongyang?
It is known North Korea is engaging in new activity at its long-range missile manufacturing center. And there are reports Kim and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are arranging a summit meeting, which would be the first between the two.
So, Kim may be attempting to put pressure on President Trump to agree to a toothless disarmament plan, like previous North Korean pledges of peaceful intentions that invariably were followed by new military buildups.
Such an agreement would accomplish nothing, of course.
North Korea is a threat to world peace precisely because its leaders have been known for aggressiveness. Nuclear weapons and long-range missiles in Kim’s hands are good for no one. If other world leaders continue to buy his empty promises, while Putin encourages Pyongyang to keep the weapons, he will be playing with a fire that could kill tens of millions.