Being the youngest of three brothers, Kim Jong-Un may have been driven by a need to distance himself from the identities of his very different older brothers and by gaining the favor of his father.
I wonder if the current crisis with North Korea might just end around the time that Exercise Foal Eagle does. That's this year's annual joint military exercise by the U.S. and South Korea, running from March 1 through April 30.
The last thing the Chinese want is either a greater American military or naval presence in Northeast Asia or refugee flows from a collapsing North Korean government. We want Beijing to urge the North to the table in the proper frame of mind, using influence only they have.
The "Pacific pivot" of the United States is nothing new. At the same time, it doesn't really exist. And yet, even though it doesn't exist, this pivot is partly responsible for the escalation of tensions in and around the Korean peninsula.
Although North Korea has a long tradition of eccentric behavior, this latest line of saber rattling has set a dangerous and reckless precedent.
I've seen this product countless times before. I remember buying it, in fact, a few years ago. I ingested it and convinced others of its potency, of its value as a product. So what's different about it this time? What's it doing back on the shelf, a seemingly old product with a new label?
Friedman has stumbled upon a nifty cliché, perhaps while watching March Madness, and then tried to fit the world and his own favorite causes around it. To make it work he has to distort the past and exaggerate the present, like a petulant parent.
Missiles have been moved, the Kaesong Industrial Complex is on the brink of a complete shutdown, and the world is waiting to see whether Kim Jong Un's militant rhetoric is all one giant bluff.
South Korea is always in a state of war with its Northern neighbor. Today is no different from yesterday, last year, or even 10 years ago. Tomorrow, next week, next year will follow the same pattern.
Is the current Kim really ready to attack any of his neighbors just to prove that he really is crazy? Even if he could escape utter destruction, what would he possibly accomplish?
As much as some U.S. policymakers and most American experts detest diplomacy with Pyongyang, they now face a pressing issue that has upended their earlier calculations. The U.S. must rely on diplomacy once again.
America's greatest tool to force change is not sanctions, but economic engagement
Washington would neither have to foot nearly as much of the bill nor commit as many soldiers as it did in Iraq, but there are other aspects of a military engagement that must be considered: What happens if the North falls but the war turns asymmetric?
The international hacker organization Anonymous perpetuated possibly its most foolhardy act yesterday when it hacked into and took over North Korea's Flickr and Twitter accounts.
Tensions are high on the Korean Peninsula but is anything taking place there really new? That answer is obvious. Nothing taking place between the two Koreas is new. Hopefully, the culturally accepted principle of tolerance on the Peninsula goes unchanged as well.