Public Statements and Reality

You’ve always got to wonder what North Korea, the Alex Forrest of the international community, is up to. Here’s the public statement:

“Our revolutionary force is ready to respond to any kind of war the American imperialists want,” said Kim, whose speech was interrupted by applause several times.

Through the line of Songun (military-first) politics, our Korean People’s Army has become the strongest revolutionary force and our country has become an impenetrable fortress and a global military power,” he said.

The reality is that North Korea’s ability to project power outside of the Korean Peninsula is actually quite limited and the country simply does not have the resources to fight an extended conflict with anyone.

The discrepancy between those two is one reason a story like this makes me nervous:

U.S. officials could soon send a Navy ship steaming by a chain of man-made islands that China has built in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials said, potentially exacerbating tensions in an area in which Beijing is expanding its presence.

China set up a territorial limit around the islands, effectively claiming international waters as their own. Washington does not recognize those claims, prompting the Navy to develop plans to send at least one ship within 12 nautical miles of the islands, a defense official said.

The Navy sending ships through the disputed areas would require approval from the White House, and underscore that the United States will not let China limit freedom of navigation at sea, the official added. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to do so.

China and the U. S. aren’t the only players there. That is within the area in which North Korea can project power and I don’t know how we can ever really be sure about what the always erratic Kim regime will do.

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