What if Kim Jong-un is not a madman?
Portrayal of Kim
In the Western media we love to portray our perceived enemies as madmen or despots or their peculiar habits to ridicule them. This has been the case with Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, et al and this is certainly the case with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
In a recent Hollywood movie Kim was shown as an idiot which led to North Korea allegedly hacking American and other Western targets. What about this scenario though, what if Kim is not as barmy as the media and others would have you believe? Now don't get me wrong I realize Kim is no angel and is certainly a despot and dictator who presides over a regime that delivers crimes against humanity that perhaps none of his contemporary dictators can match.
Maybe we are reading this buffoon with a bad hair cut wrong and maybe just maybe it is we in the West who are the idiots. Kim wants his regime to survive and it is understandable why he is developing a nuclear capability and the means to deliver them. His thinking maybe that if he has the capability to launch or strike back with nukes enemies like the US would think twice before attacking him for fear of retaliation. Certainly according to reports people in Seoul are thinking this well some of them at least.
Kim wants to negotiate with the big boys in the nuclear club from a position of strength and he has seen what has happened to non-nuclear nations that fought a war against nations like the US. They were soundly thrashed and their leaders like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi fell from power plus they had no nukes so one can understand Kim's thinking on that if I am guessing him right.
Even with out his nukes and the means to deliver them Kim has a massive armed number of conventional forces but how good they would be in battle whether naval, army or air force is not really known.
So Kim maybe a paper tiger and a madman after all but on the other hand we should think alternatively too lest we fall into the trap of playing Kim's game perhaps.
Carl Vinson sailing in the other direction
With all the tension going on between the US and North Korea with China acting seemingly as an honest broker tensions were heightened even more with all the rhetoric coming out of Pyong Yang and Washington.
Defence Secretary James Mattis announced that USS Carl Vinson was steaming away from Singapore heading towards the Western Pacific and to North Korea. North Korea in reaction to this and on American warnings not to do any more nuke tests or test firing of missiles launched a missile which spectacularly failed to get off the launch pad and exploded if it did get air borne.
The media automatically believed that the American aircraft carrier was prowling the waters just off North Korea ready to launch its fighters to attack North Korean targets inside the country. North Korea threatened war if any attack was launched on their territory but it seems Mattis either misread the situation or was saying the Carl Vinson was sailing to North Korea to ramp up pressure on Pyong Yang.
It turns out that actually The USS Carl Vinson is taking part in war games with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean and no where near North Korea. That's not to say though the American aircraft carrier is not aware of the North Korean situation and could alter course at a moments notice.