Thinking Unthinkable Thoughts About North Korea
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Twitter maven Matt Polis wondered if Kim Jong-un had put himself in the Theon Greatjoy corner, which is Greek to all but real Game of Thrones aficionados, but means that he has threatened so many things he actually has to do something to get the respect of his seniors.
In such moments, the president is usually well served by either his Secretary of State or Defense making a very clear, very definitive statement regarding the consequences of real hostilities, or of doing so himself. “This will not stand” came too late to deter Saddam in 1990, but the letter from George H.W. Bush to the Iraqi dictator made clear what would happen if he used WMD. The big threat here is the artillery barrage and/or the chemical weapons about which we have been hearing for years, and from the North’s “special forces” about which less has made it into the Western press.
The widespread assumption in the MSM is, however, that the North won’t do anything really bad, however, but just saber rattle.
So, if the North did “go big,” what would the president do, and how quickly would he do it?