Failure to Launch: North Korea

625595_10101347713917422_578368042_nCurrently we seem to be in the middle of yet another round of North Korean threats. As of March 30, North Korea has declared that it is in a state of actual war with the United States and South Korea. This is, I think, a classic co-dependency relationship between Pyongyang and Beijing. And the unfortunate thing is that it is affecting the lives of about 25 million North Koreans, not to mention countless millions more in South Korea and Japan. The North needs the countries around it – including especially China – to support its many millions of starving citizens. But to get the attention (and food) that it needs from China it feels that it must make threats against its Korean and Japanese neighbors – thereby demonstrating that it is indeed an important regional player, a force to be reckoned with, and a country to which China should be sending countless food shipments from the depots in its northern cities of Harbin, Shenyang, and Jilin. One thought that comes to mind is that perhaps by refusing to pay attention to the North’s threats it might be possible for the countries in the region to return to normalcy and to recognize that the North is just trying to sustain its co-dependency relationship with China. But Seoul is only a few miles from the border, and the North’s belligerence is occasionally backed up by actual hostilities. And no one in Beijing or Seoul wants to face the humanitarian crisis that would inevitably result if hostilities ever did actually get serious. Contrary to popular belief in the United States, Kim Jong-un is not crazy – he’s a puppet figure. His ministers are the ones pulling the strings in Pyongyang. They know exactly what they are doing. And what they are doing is an egregious attempt to get resources from China. One can only hope that there are internal forces of sanity and discontent among the wiser government ministers of Kim Jong-un – the kinds of ministers who could ensure a peaceful transition to a healthier country.  And as a practicing Christian, in the coming days and weeks I will be praying that God’s Word would be spread among the common people of North Korea – who so desperately need physical and spiritual food.  May they be blessed!

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