They were the duds heard ’round the world. And the failures could be setting tyrant Kim Jong Un up for a date with the executor.
North Korea’s crazed young leader has been obsessed with earning respect through loud demonstrations of his nation’s supposed military might.
But he keeps coming up short. That’s dangerous for a dictator that depends on fear to rule.
On Thursday, two intermediate-range ballistic missile tests fired with much fanfare turned out to be as ballistic as a pair of bricks tied to rockets.
This follows another embarrassing failure earlier this month, one that had to sting since it was done on the celebration of the birth of the country’s founder – and Kim’s grandfather – Kim Il Sung.
“It was a fiery, catastrophic attempt at a launch that was unsuccessful,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told The Associated Press.
The duds come after the country tried… and failed… to put a satellite in orbit earlier this year.
Experts believe the rushed tests are the signs of an increasingly desperate nation – one that may be rapidly falling apart in the hands of an unstable young leader.
“They need to succeed but they keep failing,” Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum and a policy adviser to the South Korean navy, told Reuters after the most recent tests. “They didn’t have enough time to fix or technically modify the system, but just shot them because they were in a hurry.”
Why the rush?
It could be that the clock is ticking on Kim to show he can handle the United States — before he’s shown a taste of his own brutality.
Earlier this month, Kim’s team practically begged Washington to cut a deal: They’ll pause their nuclear testing program if the U.S. would cancel its joint military exercises with South Korea.
Washington told him where to stick his deal.
It would’ve been a much needed win internationally for Kim; the joint exercises are a regular show of force right in his face – one that can’t help morale when they see how much more advanced their enemies are.
Instead, it was a desperate failure. Critics note that their nuclear program isn’t ready from primetime, and America knows it.
Kim announced earlier this year that Pyongyang had developed a hydrogen bomb, many times more powerful than an atomic bomb – but seismic readings showed that it fell far short of what would be expected of an H-bomb.
“It does not seem large enough” Columbia University researcher Paul Richards told CNBC. “The limited number of (hydrogen bomb tests) that have been done underground in the few megaton range have magnitudes on in the high six or seven range” on the Richter scale, Richards said. “That would be a hundred times larger than this.”
Now, there could be another test – one Pyongyang hopes will finally bring Washington to the table and deliver Kim what he craves most: attention, recognition and most of all respect.
While no one can say for certain what the political environment is within the reclusive country, experts say this could be a dangerous time for Kim. And these things often end poorly for dictators.
Another failed test… another rebuff from Washington… another round of being laughed at by the world could have deadly ramifications for a young leader who may not have an iron grip on power despite his constant paranoid purges.
“We’ve really reached the point of no return,” David Straub, former director of the State Department’s Korea desk, told Newsweek. “Either our gradually ratcheted-up pressures will eventually persuade the North Korean leaders that this is not working the way they had expected, or the tensions will become so great in North Korea that there will be some change within the regime itself.”
— The Horn editorial team
Calvin Mishalatube says
We must be very careful with this buffoone. Remember, a wounded animal will become very vicious. This man is not rational and he may consider irrational acts before his demise. Bottom Line: Watch carefully and be alert to take preemptive action if it becomes necessary. China will most likely go along.
Calvin your right be very careful with this idiot
I was going to say why don’t the people of N. Korea rise up against him, and then I think of the sheeple that will vote for a pig with lipstick and Democrat stamped on it’s forehead.
If the people in N Korea saw how good the south has it maybe they would revolt. I think the good life is being held secret from the people. A country’s power comes from the freedom people have. When
people are starved and the only food goes to the military you get too weak to fight for your rights.
I do not know why Kim Jong Un can’t learn from other aggressors and tyrants. Kim is a mental case. He should read what happened to past tyrants such Hitler, Gadhafi, Idi Amini, etc.? They eventually were all deposed. This young man is self-absolved and delusional that he will live forever. Now he is bragging his country is ready for a war. He does not know if his country ever goes to war- short or long his power and he will also go. In fact, I am surprised he is still alive after killing his uncle and other close relatives. I equate Kim Jong to young people joining ISIS. These are sick young people. Ask Kim Jong or those joining ISIS what they want- they won’t tell you. It is immaturity. Somebody brainwashed them to see themselves as above regular humans. Many young males go through that crisis. Kim was made king by his own father who raised him as begotten son. I can assure you it won’t be long some of those he trusts will go against him. I wish he read this posting.
For all the complaints of lost freedoms and government spying in America, it’s still nothing like the threat from living in an overtly totalitarian society.
harrison burnell says
who you talking about obama or kim?
@harrison ….. or ‘hell’ary
Main Street says
MacArthur was correct 65 years ago.
Main street your right Mac was right only another Democrat stopped him seems like an old story
Kim Jong Un!!! Your aglies and sickness, person if I see in my life.
I’m allergic at your face.
You are discussing leader.
You’r not human bein about you ‘r people.
You’r animals 5.000 years ago….????!!!!!!
Michael a says
Go back to school and learn your spellings.
Thanks l will
U r right,even if you need to work on your spelling. 😉
Rudy Binder says
It wouldn’t surprise me if the North Korea army doesn’t hang the fat little bastard.
Texas Mak says
Recent reports also say the country is starving. People there do not have adequate food to stay healthy. They cannot complain or protest because it means execution. Wonder if any more of those “ghost” ships have shown up on the beaches of South Korea, Japan and other neighboring countries. These ships and boats filled with corpses that were difficult to determine cause of death on some due to decomposition. I would think the people will revolt soon.
Filo Vance says
When it all falls apart… the USA will feed it masses while China claims territory in the North and S. Koreans get what’s left.
Justin W says
It’s time for the Kim dynasty to come to an end. Each member of the dynasty seems to be crazier, less competent and more brutal than his predecessor. North Korea has tried to make communism work. Like every other nation, they have shown that communism requires a totalitarian regime and even then the end result is poverty and hunger.
Kim Jong Un is nothing but a stupid, spoiled brat. The North Korean military should oust this clown before he leads the nation into a war that will get them all killed.
I think we should capture and parachute all the ISIS bastards over N Korea.
Oh, sure, let Daesh tell them why their bombs don’t go “boom” and bring fresh revenue streams into the country with all Daesh’s financial backers. Great idea.
I wasn’t serious Wendy. The US should blow everything N Korea launches. Need to kill ISIS, not capture and send to Cuba. Also need to knock whatever Iran launches but this won’t happen with Obama in the WH
Why does’nt china and russia stop this little fat pig bastard.Before he leads the world into a war?
‘Cause Lil’ Kim keeps the world’s attention away from what they’re doing. If North Korea went away, the world would have more resources to focus on them.
Jim Macklin says
It has been said before, but people who are rational do extreme things when pressed to the wall. Crazy dictators will start wars they hope will extend their time in power.
The atomic power sold to North Korea by the US, authorized by Bill Clinton [ and approved by Hillary ] was hoped to pave a path to peace has instead been used as expected by many, to arm a dictator with a powerful weapon he will use.
A US first strike may become necessary to out survival.
China should get with Kim, and get him to stop with the weapons experimenting, and launches, which could go wrong, and even hit China. I suggest China, because they have been good to North Korea. Some one needs to tell this young man, that no one wants his country. Kim… Feed your starving people, instead of wasting money on weapons systems. Your people would have more respect for you if they were fed. Most in this country are starving, and Kim walks through, and it’s more then obvious he hasn’t missed any meals. Most of his citizens go to bed at night with empty stomachs. I Thank God, that I’m not a resident of North Korea.
Arthur Hartsock says
I commented recently that saner military leaders in North Korea should give Crazy Kim a dirt bath. The sooner the better. And maybe they could reunite with South Korea, so their people wouldn’t starve any longer? One can only hope!!
Can anyone else see the similarities between the midget dictator in Korea and the giant Liar in DC ?
This is the way I see this. China is not going to curtail N.Korea from building weapons. N.Korea is a an alley. Where do you suppose all the information on nuclear development came from? Who is demanding the ownership of the S. China sea? Who is building islands for airports and fortresses in the ocean? N.Korea’s expansion of nuclear weapons only helps China.
We think we can convince China to step in but in fact ,it is them who have encouraged and supported this growth of weapons in N.Korea. It’s them or us.
Christopher S. O'Rourke says
Maybe, just maybe the King of North Korea will be overthrown. North Korea’s leaders all are from the same family. Kim Jong UN is the present King of North Korea, his father was King before him, and his grandfather was King when North Korea became Communist. China is Communist, when Chairman Mao Tse Tung died in 1976, no one in his family succeeded him at all, the same in Russia when Nickoli Lenin died, Josef S. Stalin succeeded
him in 1924, then when Josef S. Stalin died in 1953, he was succeeded by Nikita Khruschev. Russia was Communist. In Cuba Fiedl Castro ruled till he was just too sick, his brother Raul took over from him, that is technically a monarchy hiding behind Communism in North Korea & Cuba. All it will take is if one of those missles get fired ends up in China, China will just walk right in and end that Kings rulership. He will slip up eventually, that will be the end of his monarchy in North Korea.
Don A says
Any U.S. families ever attempt establishment of hereditary or familial rule?
Richard M says
Yes! The Clinton family!
The Bush family certainly did. Tried again, this year, until it became apparent that Americans were sick to death of the Bushes. No Jeb. No Neal.
Here’s what an intelligent Founder had to say about the subject:
“The great object is, in a republican government, to guard effectually against perpetuating any portion of power, great or small, in the same man or family. This perpetuation of power is totally uncongenial to the true spirit of republican governments.”
~Richard Henry Lee in 1787
In Korea, that family are literally worshipped as gods, at least the Fearless Leadah, anyhow; put a scar down his face and give him a monocle, and Boris & Natasha should soon show up.
Dave Guevara says
All we can do is PRAY for the korean people, only GOD can change harts