According to a new report from CNN, North Korea will be holding an enormous military parade the day before the Winter Olympics commence in Seoul. The purpose of the parade – not that the totalitarian regime needs much of one – will be to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military. Its secondary purpose, officials say, will be to put on an “intimidating” demonstration that will “scare the hell out of Americans.”
Oh, Little Rocket Man, you’re underestimating how difficult it is to scare us.
That’s not to downplay the massive army that Kim Jong Un controls behind the Bamboo Curtain, of course. As South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myung-gyon noted recently, the parade “is likely to be quite an intimidating event involving a significantly large number of soldiers and nearly all the weapons at North Korea’s disposal.” No one in the West (or the Pacific) is under any false illusions when it comes to North Korea’s might. Their people are starving and their economy is in shambles, but they aren’t hurting when it comes to preparations for war. That, of course, is exactly what makes their nuclear defiance such an intense threat to global peace.
Diplomatic sources with knowledge of North Korea’s motives told CNN that “hundreds of missiles and rockets” will be on display for the express intention of scaring “the hell out of the Americans.”
The parade will serve as an ominous and contradictory backdrop to the Olympics themselves, where Kim has been doing his best to put on a show of cooperation and unification. This isn’t the first time North and South Korea have joined hands at the Games, but they have been unusually friendly given the intensely war-like rhetoric that has come out of Pyongyang in recent years. This has some wondering if Kim’s olive-branch is something of a trap and others wondering if, instead, UN sanctions are finally persuading the regime to try another approach. Like…actual diplomacy.
Unfortunately, even when the North Korean dictator appears sincere in his efforts to reach out, those efforts never last long. He may or may not be truly insane, but he is certainly an egomaniac who will continually refuse to take a submissive posture when it comes to the U.S. or South Korea. When the games conclude, he will again call on both countries to end their joint military exercises; both countries will refuse to do so. That will almost certainly set the stage for another round of saber-rattling and missile launching from the tantrum-throwing Kim Jong Un. Except this time, his sparks may be met with something more furious than mere rhetoric from the president and U.S. allies.