The more he challenges North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un?
The MORE he help’s the guy back home domestically….
At least that’s what one Korean expert says at Politico….
Over the past 72 hours, a teetering uncertainty has loomed over the ongoing crisis in North Korea. There’s been a dizzying array of news: military exercises, intelligence reports that the nation now has the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and fit it onto a missile, President Donald Trump’s promise of “fire, fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before” if North Korea continues with its current path, and, hours later, a North Korean response announcing plans for a missile strike near the U.S. territory of Guam.
But what actually changed this week? Not much, says Lisa Collins, an expert on North Korea and fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Collins says that what we’re seeing is very serious, but also unlikely to lead to a war anytime soon. And, she cautions, if you understand North Korea’s point of view, you’ll see why Trump’s comments might be just what North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was looking for.
POLITICO Magazine: What is the practical impact of Trump’s “fire and fury” comments on the North Korea crisis?
Lisa Collins: The rhetoric has been heightened, but I don’t think that it changes the actual reality of the North Korean threat. North Korea is used to giving and relaying this kind of rhetoric, and North Korea is very used to these responses.
Threatening war or military action against North Korea … works more towards the advantage of North Korea, not our advantage. After all, it’s a totalitarian regime—it uses threats from the U.S. to consolidate control within the country. It represses its people. The more that North Korea can create the perception of an outside threat, the more it can control the internal domestic situation. That gives the regime more power internally, which it can use externally.
POLITICO Mag: So far, has North Korea’s response to the U.S. been different than in past crises?
Collins: The threat that North Korea made about shooting missiles at Guam, I don’t think it’s very different qualitatively than other statements it has made. It frequently threatens to make Seoul into a “sea of fire”—that means shooting missiles or artillery at Seoul. It also routinely releases videos showing North Korean missiles aimed at Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Capitol building.
POLITICO Mag: How seriously should we take North Korea’s ability to cause damage?
Collins: The North Korean threat is very real. I don’t think we should take it as a joke. The North Koreans are very focused on their goal, which is technology. But I don’t think we’re going to go to war tomorrow. The tensions are high, but I don’t think it’s spiraling out of control. The United States and South Korea are determined to contain the threat, and are working hard within the bounds of their alliance to do so….