The news came on the tele in the lunch room, and after images of slow-motion rockets ascending into the blue sky switched to a conference with the South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, surrounded by his usual coterie of faceless besuited middle-aged technobureaucrats, their private discussion was mistakenly broadcast:
LMB: So, uh…
TB1: I know.
LMB: What do you guys think we should do?
TB1: I don’t know, what do you think we should do?
TB2: I don’t know, what do you think we should do?
LMB: Look busy and concerned.
TB1 & TB2: Okay!
The folks up North, at least the rich ones who can watch South Korean TV, must be giggling maniacally with their fingers stuffed in their mouths, while Kim Jong-un himself, the sexiest man alive, is ordering his butler to deliver a second barrel of lobsters stuffed with caviar and champagne for his lunch…in addition to another round of ICBMs.
On a more serious note, as Choe Sang-hun writes in the New York Times, anyone who is anyone is, at this moment, “trying to form a new way of coping with North Korea after two decades of largely fruitless attempts to end its nuclear and missile ambitions”.
I would like to posit that since both diplomacy and warfare seem to be completely pointless, since China is never going to stop writing the North Korean government as many blank checks as it demands, since the North Koreans themselves are apparently mesmerized by the glamor of their Leader-Cum-Sex-God, defense is really the only viable option. Is it ridiculous to suppose that a system like the famous Iron Dome could be used to disable a barrage of North Korean nuclear missiles? I know that Reagan’s Star Wars was something of an 18th Brumaire-esque joke during the second Bush administration, but those nuclear missiles Kim Jong-un is dreaming of are not intended for the South, since nuking it would render the place more or less uninhabitable. His ultimate goal is probably to hold America hostage while he undertakes a second invasion to unite the two countries under the leadership of the Kim dynasty once and for all. Or at least that’s my theory. Others assert that the missile is merely intended to shore up domestic support, which is fair enough, though in the long run these weapons could very easily be used for a different purpose.
Meanwhile, in busy sunny South Korea, speculators at The Marmot’s Hole suspect that this ignoble action will deliver the South Korean presidency, currently up for grabs, into the hands of Park Geun-hye, a conservative hawk, since the opposition candidate, Moon Jae-in, is dedicated to the idea that the North Koreans can be bribed into becoming South Koreans. Park has always been ahead in the polls, so far as I know, so she probably would have won next week’s election anyway; and, because every politician and his mother is corrupt to the bone in South Korea, I would vote for her as well, as I’d prefer to have my corrupt officials castigating North Korea instead of personally driving trucks stuffed with cash across that cold bare windy 38th parallel.