In a message over North Korea state media on Saturday, the Kim Jong Un regime condemned U.S. strikes against Syria, saying the missile attack proved that Pyongyang was correct in building up a nuclear weapons program.
“The US missile attack against Syria is a clear and intolerable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn it,” KCNA news agency reported a government spokesperson as saying. “The reality of today shows that we must stand against power with power and it proves a million times over that our decision to strengthen our nuclear deterrence has been the right choice.”
The spokesperson, who was not identified by name in the report, went on to say that the U.S. had a habit of bullying countries without nuclear capabilities.
“Swaggering as a superpower, the US has been picking only on countries without nuclear weapons and the Trump administration is no exception,” the spokesman said. “The Syria attack thoroughly reminds us the fact that it is absolutely dangerous to have any illusions about imperialism and only military power of our own will protect us from imperialistic aggression.”
Well, that’s certainly one way to look at it. Another way: Don’t gas your own people and you won’t incur international wrath.
But North Korea may be right about the “aggression” coming their way, and if they are, they have no one but themselves to blame. They have spent the last five years regularly threatening to bomb the U.S. and its allies, and they have carried out several nuclear and ballistic missile tests in an attempt to strike fear in their enemies.
Of course, their real mission – much like that of Syria’s Assad regime – is to cover up a failed state with this kind of constant saber-rattling posture. And in North Korea, like in Syria, a madman is running the show. Kim Jong Un is more concerned about retaining his power than doing right by his citizens, and he is growing more isolated by the day. Every move he makes brings his regime closer to failure, which, in turn, inspires him to build up his defenses. And the cycle continues.
In both cases, the solution may lie in the states that sponsor these failed regimes. Until China and Russia can come to the table and take responsibility for the barbarism they are protecting, U.S. military options remain limited. Hopefully, President Trump can make headway on both fronts and prevent a military clash that could result in the loss of thousands of lives.