“Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to pre-emptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest,” the North’s foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
It is not known if the statement was made with official sanction, or if so at what level the sanction came. But this does not make much difference. The statement has raised tensions to the point where the smallest miss-step by either side could be the spark that starts the fire.
There is considerable doubt as to North Korea’s ability to launch such an attack. The nuclear tests performed by North Korea were not entirely successful, and there is no evidence that North Korea has developed a weapon that is small enough to be used as a missile warhead. But the situation is clearly escalating. Having ‘gone nuclear’ in the war of words, North Korea does not have any further room to escalate without actually making an attack.
This situation has not developed overnight, but the establishment media seem to be acting as if it has. For the past four years we have been seeing almost daily reports of the ‘need’ to take action against Iran, which does not actually have a nuclear weapon and might not even intend to. Rather too little attention has been paid to the increasingly eccentric behavior of North Korea, which has declared nuclear ambitions and has performed actual tests.
My classics teacher once made a dry comment about the Roman senate debating plans for the invasion and re-occupation of Britannica, while the Visigoths were marching to sack the city. At the time I dismissed it as unsourced and rather unlikely. Yet here we are, with the entire nation focused on the latest GOP plot to blackmail the President and the country into accepting their latest budget-cutting extravaganza. And all the while, while Republicans dither, North Korea burns.