In the last few months, North Korea has again displayed remarkable temerity. First, the regime threatened to conduct more nuclear tests if the United Nations does not withdraw its recommendation to prosecute the country’s leaders for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. Moreover, U.S. officials claim that the regime mounted a clandestine cyber attack on Sony Pictures, allegedly over objections to “The Interview,” a slapstick movie premised on an assassination attempt against North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Then, in yet another melodramatic twist, Kim offered in his New Year’s address to resume talks with South Korea.
The Kim regime’s actions obviously merit consideration. But they should not divert attention from the real risks on the Korean Peninsula: Kim’s uncertain grip on power and the dangers that could be unleashed should his regime fall apart.
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