The North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, almost daily issues a new warning that he is about to attack South Korea and even the United States. Is this reckless kid leader serious? If not he is digging quite a hole for himself and he may have to back up his words with action.
There is worldwide speculation about what Kim expects to gain from his belligerent words. Is he trying to win the respect of his military and his people? Is he trying to distract his people from the poor conditions in his country, where people are starving? Is he trying to gain bargaining points to get aid from the United States in exchange for his good behavior?
There is no question that he could cause considerable damage to South Korea in an attack, killing thousands of people, before the North would be wiped off the map in retaliation attacks by the South and the United States. Kim must know that, but he keeps up his barrage of war threats coming at a regular pace. The South and the United States military forces certainly must be on alert. But the people in the South have grown used to the belligerent provocations by the North. They don’t seem to be that concerned.
A key country in this matter is China, which doesn’t want war and apparently doesn’t know what to do with bad boy Kim. The North is not a force without the backing of China. In the Korean War that ended in 1953, it would not have lasted that long (37 months) without the manpower from China and weapons from Russia. The latter is no longer a team player with the North.
No one knows how this situation is going to play out. Kim is dangerous, reckless and to save face, he may start something. If he does, it will be the end of his country.