Here is a bit of North Korean realpolitik that nobody is talking
about: Regrettably, Kim Jong-uns regime is absolutely right to
develop nuclear weapons and a delivery system that reaches the
Thats neither an endorsement of North Koreas policies nor of
other countries arming themselves with nukes. Far from it. Its
simply an acknowledgement that the only way a small country can
protect itself from American aggression is by amassing enough
firepower to force even the mighty US military to suffer heavy
Hopefully, its not a model that other countries will follow. If
President Donald Trump withdraws from the Iran nuclear agreement,
however, there is a good chance that the Islamic Republic will be
After all, when its neighbor Iraq was attacked, Iran had a front
row seat to what happens when a country ends up on a list of US
targets, such as the axis of evil, and is unable to defend
In order to understand why North Korea is defying the
international community, circumventing sanctions, and developing a
nuclear weapon and long-range intercontinental missiles, one has to
look no further than to Saddam Husseins regime.
Leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, I was fairly sure that
Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The evidence
presented by UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, whose team visited
hundreds of sites in Iraq and had found nothing, was much more
compelling than the circumstantial case for war the Bush
administration was putting together.
Still, there was a tiny sliver of doubt. Maybe the regime of
Saddam Hussein had successfully deceived the world and managed to
put together a stockpile of chemical or biological weapons.
That evaporated when, after only one day of airstrikes on
Baghdad, ground troops started advancing on the Iraqi capital at
high speed and embedded journalists were covering the invasion
I thought to myself back then that it was highly unlikely that
US war planners would send in American soldiers if there was even a
remote chance that Saddam Hussein could launch a chemical or
biological strike and harm a great number of them. And I absolutely
knew that there was no way that military commanders would risk
having a journalist killed.
It was the final bit of proof not only that there were no WMDs
but also that the administration was dead certain Saddam Husseins
military posed no significant threat to US forces.
North Korea is in a different league. Sure, its armed forces
could not defeat the USs in a prolonged war, but such a conflict
would leave so many Americans dead that no sane leader an important
caveat would order such an attack.
And Kim Jong-uns regime could counter a campaign of airstrikes