North Korea's elaborate game of chicken with U.S.
April 3rd, 2013
08:54 AM ET

North Korea's elaborate game of chicken with U.S.

By Elise Labott

Kim Jong Un’s latest threats against the United States may be even more apocalyptic than Kim Jong Il’s. But the Obama administration still believes the young North Korean leader is reading from a page in his father’s playbook.

One senior administration official described the tried-and-true play as something like this: “Talk tough and scare people. Follow that with some kind of provocation. Then at some point of your choosing, step back, put your weapons down and say, ‘Well, we won that round. What are you going to do for us?’ It’s the classic North Korea provocation-extortion cycle.”

U.S. officials can’t guarantee the North Koreans will play it this way now. They do fully expect some type of tactical action from the North in the form of anything from a nuclear test to a computer hacking to a shelling of South Korea. But they point to natural biorhythms in North Korea that suggest the regime cannot sustain the current tempo. With the spring planting season approaching in a few weeks, North Korean soldiers will have to return to their fields and the regime will be forced to choose between target practice on paper maps of the United States and feeding their people.

“The operating assumption is that we don’t think he is going to stay too far from this pattern,” the official said of the new North Korean leader. “There may be lower lows and sharper threats that come thick and faster now, but a lot is driven by the North’s own internal requirements. At some point, this will end because they need help. And we expect to be finding ourselves hearing the North Korea sweet sounds asking for economic help. If we can get there without real bloodshed, this is not overly concerning.”

Generally, dictators are not suicidal, and officials believe Kim Jong Un is no different. Since his main goal seems to be staying in power, officials feel he probably realizes incurring the wrath of the world’s most powerful military might not be the smartest move. Officials and analysts say his father knew where the line was.

Yet, because the U.S. can’t be sure exactly what the regime is up to and isn’t sure Kim won’t make a dangerous miscalculation, Washington has had to act protectively. The U.S. bolstered military exercises with South Korea with shows of force that included overflights by nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers, massive Cold War-era B-52s and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters. And as North Korea’s threats grew more ominous, the U.S. started moving warships closer to the North Korean coast.

“The problem with this guy is he is so young and quite impulsive. He may walk up to the edge and stumble over it,” says Victor Cha of the Center for Strategic International Studies. “Maybe the U.S. is saying to him, ‘We will show you the edge if you don’t know where it is.’ ”

In large part, these moves were about sending a message to the region that the U.S. will defend its ally, South Korea. But as tough as those steps are, officials call them modest. The U.S., they said, could have dispatched a nuclear-armed warship to combat the North’s latest threat. Instead, in an effort to preserve a chance for diplomacy once Kim’s latest temper tantrum is over, the administration has gone to great lengths to make clear its military moves are purely defensive in nature.

“We had to take steps. We have an untested leader, operating at a faster provocation pace than his father did without any indication he knows when to step back,” another senior administration official said.

“But we also need to bear in mind that unless Kim Jong Un is setting a new path, the North will declare some sort of cease-fire and say they are ready for talks. And we need to position ourselves with the Chinese and the South Koreans to be ready for that.”

Officials predict a natural pivot point to diplomacy as the U.S. and South Korean military exercises wind down at the end of April. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Asia next week in advance of a visit to Washington by South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. China, having just installed a new party leadership, is sure to send officials to Washington for talks in advance of the annual U.S.-China strategic and economic dialogue this summer.

Standing next to the South Korean foreign minister Tuesday, Kerry himself was forward-leaning on the prospects for diplomacy. Even as he pledged that the United States was ready and able to protect itself and its ally Seoul in the face of North Korea’s threats, he spoke of the goal of improved relations between the Koreas and said the U.S. was prepared to return to the table with North Korea, should the regime decide to quit its antics.

“They have an option. And that option is to enter into negotiations for the denuclearization,” Kerry said. “And to begin to focus on the needs of their people, which we also have made clear we are prepared to help them with if they will bring their behavior in line with the United Nations and global community requirements.”

That’s not to say the U.S. or South Korea is talking about some sweetheart deal for North Korea anytime soon. Nobody has been particularly optimistic about engagement, ever since Kim Jong Un took office and violated the so-called Leap Day agreement to suspend its nuclear-weapon and long-range missile testing in exchange for food aid. Administration officials said they would expect the hiatus in efforts to get North Korea back to the table for multilateral disarmament talks to continue.

“The consensus is the kind of stuff we and the South Koreans used to offer the North Koreans, like a light-water reactor, is not in the offing,” one senior administration official said. “But there will be a moment when we are ready to provide humanitarian assistance.”

But John Park of the U.S. Institute for Peace warns that falling back on old analyses of North Korea’s behavior is dangerous. Pyongyang’s recent statements that its nuclear program was not a bargaining chip, he warns, suggest that North Korea is on a new course that has it intent on becoming a nuclear power.

“North Korea doesn't seem interested in negotiations at this particular point in time, but rather in making more progress on its nuclear program,” he said. “This is a very elaborate game of chicken with a lot at stake. And if you want to prevail in a game of chicken, the most effective way is to rip out the steering wheel. The North Koreans are doing anything but walking away. Now it is a question of who will flinch first.”

More: No end in sight for North Korea tensions

More: 5 things to know about North Korea's threats

More: Should the world really worry?

soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. gurjendersihe2012

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    January 10, 2014 at 12:18 am | Reply
  2. wh0622

    China is pushing NK while assessing the strength of the new US team (i.e. state, defense) and Obama. They know that the US under Obama will pause first and just are assessing how far they can go. As we can see, Obama is already backing away. Oh for a Reagan again to lead this country.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  3. james

    Who are we to put sanctions on another country? That's why they hate us. It's not the way to make friends. Instead provoke them into a war, so we can drop cluster bombbs on them. Lets try removing all the sactions, and then a preemptive strike if it doesn't work.

    April 5, 2013 at 5:34 am | Reply
  4. James

    If I was driving a Fiat, I would NOT play "chicken" with an 18 wheeler !!

    April 5, 2013 at 5:20 am | Reply
    • conner ward

      FIAT MAKE 18 WHEELERS?

      June 3, 2013 at 5:53 am | Reply
  5. marian brzozowski

    I think,that United States need atack now this evil state with our mighty power.God bless America!

    April 5, 2013 at 4:36 am | Reply
  6. chuck thompson

    Hello from chuck@worldemergency.com I can provide what north korea needs. its the same thing the US AND THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY needs; JOBS AND REVENUE. Contact me 626 243 8200. PS THIS IS NOT RODMAN. APEC Economic Jobs and Revenue Proposal http://ruor.blogspot.com/2011/09/apec-economic-jobs-and-revenue-proposal.html

    April 5, 2013 at 12:23 am | Reply
  7. arceon

    It's easy. Get the GI Joes to abduct the kid (Kim Kong Kong) and send him to Disney Land for indoctrination.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  8. vgray617

    so we gonna give into the kid throwing the temper tantrum?

    April 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  9. Jcraw

    fter 60 years of being divided – something needs to blow.

    April 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  10. Ron

    Does anybody else get the impression that the media putting out articles saying that this guy's bluffing and is just trying to get attention really isn't helping the situation? You tell a guy that's called for a fight that he doesn't have the balls to do it, you're much more likely to have a fight on your hands. I wish the news would stick to the facts without trying to speculate what his motives might be...

    April 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  11. mrglobal

    "Generally, Dictators are not suicidal" – this is generally true. But look at history. Hitler was a dictator and thought he could win the war against the Allies. So he went ahead and invaded Poland and started WWII. What is Kim thinking ? He may be crazy enough. Or Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait on misjudgment of US "signals". Better safe than be sorry. North Korea has humongous conventional firepower and a motivated, brainwashed fanatical army (de ja vue – the Nazis). They are not going to be patsies like the Iraqis. They can create a big mess in that area even if they will lose in the end. That is the precautionary balance US is taking and it's the right approach.

    April 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  12. Canada

    Let's get to the real question of the bigger picture. What are our long-term goals? Many countries that are outside of the loop have their citizens asking and questioning, 'Why does the U.S and it's NATO allies insist on world policing and the need to see "strengthened democratic states" in hostile regions? I think it's time our governments actually state globally their intentions. It's quite simple; My town works hand in hand with the neighbouring town, and in turn works with the region, and then with the Province, all the way up too the Federal Government. In Canada, it's a system of governance that works. If my country did not work together and was divided it will fall apart. Likewise, if you were to build a strong skyscraper, it cannot support the weight with beams missing and sections of infrastructure being weak and not governed by the welds and bolts held together. The world is not so big anymore, no longer can we simply sustain a few given states succeeding, for the fall of other states represents weakness in our building our Earth.
    people shouldn't fool themselves, To think a country's influence stops within it's own country borders with no long term aims. The UN, EU, NATO, and Global partnership (some of whom we know nothing about) have a plan much broader than any of us can muster to understand.

    April 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  13. vgray617

    Ok lets be serious we the us cant afford to come a running every time this ididot start threatening us or the south. Ok we are there waiting for someone to flinch obviously I say we should flinch and get this over with. Why drag it out cause we will only have to come back and then perhaps finish them off. Call them out Call their bluff then they wont bluff again I bet u! Let them test there piene junk on the east coast to me that is a flinch cause they know they are waiting for the same from us.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
    • Skittles63

      Because if we "Flinch First", it would be all out war. If the US decides that they just want to attack North Korea, the entire world will have backlash on the United States. We don't need to start another costly and pointless war to simply show them a point.

      April 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • Canada

        Many would agree with you, simply because of the lies from the Iraq war, Which is upsetting. War in this case would be validated. there actually IS evidence and threats, and hostile actions towards our Allies.

        April 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • vgray617

        so we give the kid throwing the temper tantrum what he wants?

        April 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • vgray617

        I think the world knows by now that if we don't take care of him this time that there is gonna be a next!

        April 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  14. desert voice

    It would be nice to win the game of chicken, but the end of the Korean Peninsula debacle is a far more important thing to win!

    April 4, 2013 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • GJC

      We know this is all talk from a belligerent, child like leader. But what happens in a few years when they can put a nuke on a missile? I suggest that we put an end to the Kim family dynasty with a well placed bullet and a few for his "generals". These poor people live without proper nutrition or medical care, they live in total fear. Im sure if the Kims are gone the North Korean people will rise up.

      April 4, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
      • vgray617

        exactly what im talking about we would be drug into this again anyways so why not finish this while we are there

        April 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Scott

        The people of North Korea do not have anything to rise up with. Do you really think they would live under the conditions that they do if they could do anything about it? They do not have a second amendment that ensures them the right to bear arms.

        April 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  15. BIGMatta

    Alot of dumb, non-sensical, worrying and ill-informed comments on here.

    April 4, 2013 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • chris parker

      I concur including a lot of misinfo and propaganda. What more can we expect from statists who have been conditioned by criminal and corrupt regimes responsible for epic human rights abuses!

      April 4, 2013 at 3:51 am | Reply
  16. chris parker

    Hmm lets look back into the history books. Only nation to have actually used a nuclear bomb against another country was the US of A. So how safe and lucky do we feel? Time to impose some sanctions perhaps and other restrictions so lots of people can suffer because of a corrupt regime? How else can we provoke a war and get the war drums rolling? How else can we start another false flag so certain individuals can reap the profits at the expense and the suffering of many?

    April 4, 2013 at 12:12 am | Reply
  17. Matt

    Just like any leader he has people giving him different views, this is the limit, or we can go further. He backed down, the restart of the reactor, that is nothing these things can be dealt latter on as they always are. If you show any sign of weakness or daylight between the players. The people who are saying we can go further even confrontation win out or those that say lets call it quits. Moon's statement is an a Korean via, is he acting independent or are their factions in Seoul that have asked him, is that what other ROK are thinking. " See Dear Leader I told you they are weak" push further. There are others that say lets launch a military attack, we will overcome even if there is confrontation they will back down because they are weak. That puts young Kim the position to over calculate and over reach as Hitler did in WW2 and that is how wars get out of hand.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  18. GOH Chor Hoon

    Kim is like a recalcitrant child - either you whip him or concede to his demands.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  19. Mike

    I just heard that North Korea is threatening a nuclear attack, is this true or a case of deja vu, I was watching tv and a fat north Korean was all like f the US and my dad cancelled my XBOX Live and my aunt wont let me have pizza cause I am fat so I am going to nuke the US, and as soon as my reactor comes back online it is so on, now we just wait months and months then we will see who laughing, my country and army will be half starved, our gas prices will be about 1000 a liter and I will not have taken a shower for weeks, so ha ha ha US, I suck at my job.... wait hold on wrong speech... aunty where is the speech where I save my ass and my country? that's what I saw in my deja vu any else?

    April 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  20. KEVIN

    At this point If N Korea takes any military action against anything they do not own, America will destroy all of their nuclear facilities. Which America (and China) wants to do.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  21. tom hardy

    Keep me as an individual human being out of it! I dont want to fight the war of elitist war mongerers who try to provoke and get the war drums rolling and get others to fight their wars and do their dirty work. Go on Washington boys and those cowards whsipering from behind the scenes go fight your own wars and leave the self thinking intelligent people out of it. Go fight your own wars!

    April 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Kenneth Purvis

      Let me know how you feel when they actually do something and it costs thousands of American lives.....

      April 4, 2013 at 7:02 am | Reply
  22. T

    ..............Look...............Kim is waving............GOOD BYE......................

    April 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  23. Kim Chi Bowl

    I'm so ronery!

    April 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  24. Kdrtyjf Hrtyvhj

    LIL KIM EXPLORES FREEDOM OF SPEACH WITHOUT SUCCESS

    April 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • KEVIN

      Kd, very good.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  25. KrjMc

    We should flinch first – this guy is like a small child who pushes and pushes until he needs his butt swatted. So we should swat it. If a show of force is what they respect then after a few conventional missiles hit a couple specific targets maybe they will think twice about trying to bully others. He is not ready for a nuclear strike a it's doubtful that he would resort to that extreme even if he says he will and I'm sure he knows we are perfectly capable if we chose to be.

    April 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Why do you say "we"? Are you a member of the US military participating in overseas conflicts and/or peace keeping? If not, then it's a little bit arrogant to attribute something to yourself that you actually have nothing to do with, don't you think? You probably think you're a good guitar player too because Jimi Hendrix was an American :-P

      April 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Reply
      • lake joseph moses

        well i think the man is right to say we.becos if LIL KIM decide to lunch his missiles,it will not target the US Army alone it will definately affect all of us not only the inocent people in the US.so this fight is not the fight of the US army alone but a fight of all.yes George bush was arrogant but if he was there this rubbish provocation by LIL KIM will not happend like this.some how I LIKE BUSH

        April 4, 2013 at 4:54 am |
      • Jason

        As a servicemember, WE should flinch first, and flinch HARD. Leave a lasting impression on Kim that the U.S. will not tolerate his threatening behavior. If he is shown that his rhetoric will not be tolerated, then maybe, JUST MAYBE, his tone will change. I'm not a war mongerer, but sometimes there are no other options left on the table when diplomacy fails.

        April 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  26. Prthuj Jrtunfgj

    BY LIL KIM SHUTING DOWN SHUTING IN WORKERS @ BORDER HE WILL BE HEARING FROM BUISNESS LEADERS MAYBE ON NK AGENDA IS LETTING THE NORTH SEE WHAT THE TRUTH IS

    April 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  27. Prthuj Jrtunfgj

    LOOK n korea COMmUNISTS are Aging out LIL KIM is WHO they Chose AS THEIR figure HEAD/leader ASK YOURSELF WHERE ARE THE HEARTS & MINDS OF NK

    April 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  28. Prthuj Jrtunfgj

    HLN network just said: LIL KIM IS GOING TO FOCUS ON SMALLER nimbler FIGHTING forces ie. TRANSLATION: I LIL KIM MUST REOGANIZE THE MILITARY FOR THE FUTURE OF NK NEW ECONOMY WITH LIL KIM AS THE capable PROGRESSIVE leader

    April 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • Canada

      that tool nancy grace didn't say it did she?

      April 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  29. Hahahahahhaha

    Lil Donged One just ate the last chicken!!!!! Hahahhahaahahhah

    April 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  30. jogee

    So the whole world wants to bomb America?????What has America got that the world wants??Your arrogance?no,your money?no you are bankrupt.your woman?no they are ugly.you will bomb because you are a stupid nation of sheep.

    April 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • fdfad

      Definitely not your grammar.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  31. joe

    IF you were actually going to attack a country WHY would you announce your plans to everyone in the world? YOU WOULDN’T . The time to worry is when you don’t here NK saying ANYTHING.

    April 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Darren

      The US announces to the world months (even years) in advance that it is going to invade a country and steal its resources by installing 'puppet' Governments.

      By the way, US enforced sanctions on a country is an act of war. For example, if China decided to stop buying worthless US dollars and supplying the US with cheap goods, or OPEC stopped selling oil to the US......this would be an act of war......and would only create a siege mentality to encourage people to get behind their leader.

      The US should re-examine its policy towards North Korea and create an environment where the Korean people can free themselves.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
      • encisoc

        Give a rat a cookie and will ask for a glass of milk.

        April 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • ?

      giving south korea a few nukes wouldn't be such a bad thing, then china can't threaten us if we get involved, we have to always be involved now, but giving the south a couple would sort of put some checks and balances in between the two but make no mistake south korea fought with us in Iraq while the french sat by, we owe them if it hits the fan

      April 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  32. Krdfgtte Brgnjht

    GWB SAID: N. KOREA IS ONE OF THE AXIS OF EVIL. I SAY: IF LITTLE KIM BLOWS IT WHAT HAS CHANGED?

    April 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  33. Krdfgtte Brgnjht

    LITTLE KIM DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE IS CAPABLE OF HE NEEDS FRIENDS/MENTORS LITTLE KIM IS GROWING & BECOMING MORE CAPABLE I THINK LITTLE KIM DOES NOT UNDERSTAND HOW "PEOPLE/THINGS" REALLY WORK YET e.g. HE WORKED WELL WITH WORLDS GREATEST DEFENSIVE BASKETBALL PLAYER BUT THE WORLDS GREATEST DEFENSIVE BASKET BALL PLAYER DID NOT MAKE LITTLE KIM UNDERSTAND THAT EVEN THE PRESIDENTS OWN PEOPLE DONT JUST PICK UP THE PHONE AND CHIT CHAT LITTLE KIM NEEDS A WOULD BE "HONEST BROKER" WHO CAN GIVE HIM THE HARD SELL AND EXPLAIN THE UP SIDE PROBLEM: THIS TYPE OF PERSON IS HARD TO COME BY FOR MANY REASONS BUT GREED IS PRACTICALY A FORCE OF NATURE I WOULD BET THE PROVERBIAL FARM THAT LITTLE KIM IS LOOKING FORWARD TO ECONOMIC GROWTH ITS JUST LITTLE KIM DOES NOT YET UNDERSTAND WHAT REAL HARD WORK LEADERSHIP REQUIRES ON TOP OF SUCCESFULY DOING BUISNESS DEALS INTALES ALL THINGS CONSIDERED IT CANNOT BE JUST ABOUT KIM AND HIS GENERALS

    April 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • sean

      Your caps lock is on mate

      April 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  34. George Patton-2

    What's currently going on between the U.S. and North Korea is a bunch of nonsense! The U.S. should have let the Russians occupy all of Korea back in 1945 instead of dividing it in two the way they did! By splitting Korea into two different states, the superpowers created a powder keg in the Far East which led to the 1950 outbreak of the Korean War!!!

    April 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • sean

      Yeah the US should have let the russians occupy everywhere. That would have worked out great.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • mrglobal

      Go tell that to your namesake George Patton.

      April 4, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
  35. Gary

    Who are we really dealing with. Do we really know ?
    Are we sure we possess an adequate and an accurate assessment of little Kim's fundamental IQ and intellect ?
    If we are assuming that we are dealing with a man with a sound and rational mind, then certain assumptions and some degree of predictability around possible outcomes may be possible.
    However if we not dealing with a cognitively rational and mature individual who is actually in possession of a full and working set of mental facilities then any decision making can become fraught with miscalculation and dread.
    Observations of the situation so far would suggest we are dealing with a man with a possible definable illness of the personality with all the intrinsic problems and issues that accompany such an ailment.
    If true then predicting a sound rational outcome for these events may be misguided and foolish. So what do we really KNOW per se' about this fellow ?

    April 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • ?

      kim is far too young to be in power, he is the man to lead millions of humans to death, young people need not be in positions like him

      April 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  36. Xfhjm Mihgfz

    JUST ANNOUNCED WAL-MART WILL BE PLACING FACTORY ORDERS WITH NK TO INCREASE PROFITABILITY FOR SHARE HOLDERS

    April 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  37. francescoveronese

    L'ha ribloggato su Ritagli di giornale.

    April 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  38. Leo

    Kim Jong Un is "taking a page" from Krushchev's playbook in the 60's regarding the Cuban missile crisis, Stalinist Kim is using nuclear threat to go back to a 'clean' Korean war bargaining table. This time, the cost for a resolution of the Korean War and negating the nuclear threat to the U.S. will be withdrawl of American forces from Korea. Remember-we removed missiles from Turkey in settling the Cuban missile crisis. Surprisingly, Kim's overt stunt with the display of Disney Characters a few month's ago tipped his hand. Who says Kim has to use missiles to threaten the U.S. Could he go the terrorist route?

    April 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  39. Edi

    There is no threaten. It is only a "marketing campaign" to become him as a "great leader of the nation" that had courage to challenge USA. We saw this same kind of "propaganda" with Chaves, Fidel, Ahmadinejad, Mussolini, Hitler and many others dictators.

    April 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • stephen

      The Chinese created this little monster, let them go in and clean his diaper. If they don't want US troops on their border, send their own down to clean up their nightmare...............

      April 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  40. Hey Assad...

    Can you do a TAP TAP on NK kids head...teach him he is no one's puppet...and stop farting...we can smell it all the way around...so far as other countries wanting to be "king of the mountain" is turning into "king of a graveyard" for those $$$ ventures...how is that working out for them now...lol...so Hey Assad...talk to Little One and tell him to stop throwing a public fit of mine is bigger than yours...ask him well that is all well and good but what are you going to feed it to keep it going?

    April 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  41. wolfyoung

    oh, little 3th fat

    April 3, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  42. Alex Povolotski

    The ONLY difference between Obama and Kim is that Obama is a hypocrite and Kim is an honest man!

    April 3, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  43. ?

    NK has a million person army but yet lacks food for a "nation" in peacetime – they cannot sustain war for a prolonged period of time outside of Chinese help, I think we may be in for ww3 soon enough(more likely just showing their strength) but china has mobilized its military on the border, another nation that cannot sustain prolonged war (china has a very small professional army), neither has the fuel or food to sustain prolonged war or war outside their borders (they need to walk to their war zones), we really need to understand that the world turns over every century or so, America in 50 years will be among many more equals in the world, do we want half the world's population flying the most powerful flag on the planet?....three words prevent china from getting a social security system like Americas...MADE IN CHINA....the top ten spenders on the planet are pretty much made up of NATO and some other allies minus Russia of course (a nation the size of Germany when you consider where people live and a third of Americas population), stop buying from china and we save so much more than we lose in exports, then china lose their jobs, social unrest, government collapse and democracy takes root, china is taking over the planet (look at the colonies in Africa and war games in Venezuela) cheney and his war profiteering and bush with his axis of evil speech really should have been considered criminal (bush w never even got an honest w against gore), I feel sorry for Obama he took over a broken country, but thankfully he is a good president, the people will be screaming for him to get elected again in 2016...the republican party is the wig party in my opinion (a blurp in our nations history)

    April 3, 2013 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • ?

      what really gets me though is the anti Russian feelings in American government and policy, are we stupid, they are a civilized people, we should welcome an alliance with the Russians, Russia and America together would be an unstoppable force which would be able to finally govern the planet – with morals to – too bad most conflict stems from economic roots – we should change the name of NATO (keep everybody in it more or less) and welcome Russia – Russia will feel the bite to once china is number one

      April 3, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
  44. david

    Flinch? The US won't need to flinch at all. When the US decides it time to destroy the North's military, the US will do so.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • BigShiz

      Your retarded

      April 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply
      • Random

        You're

        April 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • BigShiz

        Eat a dick random

        April 4, 2013 at 2:49 am |
      • Random II

        Eat a d***, random.

        April 4, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  45. Jeff Scott

    I think Pakistan will start the war between Korea and America.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Naseer awan

      Dont barek plzzzzz(mess with n korea they will tell to usa what,s mean of power)

      April 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  46. cold

    I'm so hurt.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:14 am | Reply
  47. aurelius

    The little fat boy will soon be outgunned and lose face among his own people. Then, only then, can we see some significant changes in N. Korea. Either all out war or a taming of the old leadership when a new wave of younger leaders come to power, forcefully or otherwise.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
  48. Paul Martin

    No one really knows what's going on in his mind ! Maybe he'll just lose control or maybe he won't ! Of he must surely realise there is no way in hell he can pull this aggression off and win or even hope to survive......that would mean no wife, no dear leader, no North Korea military anymore if he tries any hanky panky. The scariest thing is folks, unlike 1949, he now has access to all kinds of WMD, let's NOT kid ourselves or be too complacent.....who really knows what damage NK could unleash in the region alone if it came to war !

    April 3, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Alex Povolotski

      Actually N.Korea is hilarious. Without them, the world would be dull. It's like yin and yang. There must be a world villain to balance off all the good we have on this Earth :-)

      But truly, he is no different from Obama or any other world leader. It's just Obama is a hypocrite and Kim is an honest man.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:30 am | Reply
  49. Xfhjm Mihgfz

    LITTLE KIM WANTS JOBS FOR HIS PEOPLE AND HIS BLUE HAIR COMMUNIST BROTHEREN DONT WANT JOBS BECAUSE THEY MIGHT BECOME EQUILS

    April 3, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply
  50. Xfhjm Mihgfz

    NK HAS BACKERS THOSE BACKERS HAVE SOMTHING TO GAIN NOT LOSE ANYONE HERD THE GOOD WORD ON SYRIA NK DOES NOT NEED FOOD THEY NEED JOBS THEN NK CAN HANDLE THEIR OWN MENU OFCOURSE CHINA WILL DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO HOLD NK DOWN SO NK HAS NOTHING TO LOSE AFTER A LONG LONG WINTER NK IS CRAZY HUNGRY

    April 3, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply
  51. dscon

    Yeah but my Stealth Bomber is better than your Nuke..........
    Now, now, Kids.
    And I thought Bush was the great "Brinksman"?
    lol

    April 3, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
  52. morpheus1459

    Oh the words and taunts will continue to be tossed back and forth, they mean nothing. What will matter is the US sat pics showing troop/equipment movement from China towards Korea.

    This will be a game changer, and a major one, as will any response from Russia, troop or equipment wise.

    Nukes, forget them unless there's not any air movement, otherwise either the radiation will blow south upon us and our allies, or into China or Russia. Either way it's a lose-lose situation.

    It's their ballpark we have to play in now, and our prez has just about broken the back of our economy and military. I'm afraid the big dog can still bark, but he doesn't have any teeth left for this type of war.

    Unlike Koreas leader... we are spread too thin.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
  53. Kay

    6.7 Million Americans in jail today lol Worse than NK

    April 3, 2013 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Take

      That makes absolutely no sense. Man there are some stupid people on this planet.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
  54. abel

    Get mike banning to take him out

    April 3, 2013 at 10:49 am | Reply
  55. fred

    They need to blow up his toy box over there and tell him we are done playing around. A direct threat of a preemptive nuclear strike is the only reason necessary.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  56. klaus1998

    Shoot that little kid who wants to run the world!

    April 3, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  57. MrHahn

    This guy is a troll.

    But hey, NK got no oil in it... imagine if some country with oil was doing this...

    April 3, 2013 at 10:37 am | Reply
  58. Sherry

    You know, I don't remember our ancestors being such pansies! We would have never become who we are today by letting folks threaten and bully us????

    April 3, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • MrHahn

      Your ancestors weren't murderers of innocent children.

      Current USA gov, sadly, is lame and kills innocent

      April 3, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • Dunno

        Whoops! Someone got "abortion" and "North Korea is threatening nuclear strikes" confused. It's okay, you can turn the internet off now, we won't miss you.

        April 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  59. jimmyjontuste

    rack em

    April 3, 2013 at 10:27 am | Reply
  60. Clint Eastwood

    Apologize to my donkey, NOW !

    April 3, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
  61. schoolsub

    CIA: This little brat needs to be taken out.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
  62. palintwit

    Lock that fat little jerk in a room with Sarah Palin for an hour. That shrill, finger nails on a chalkboard voice of hers will reduce him to a quivering mass of blubber. Then our only dilemma will be what to do with Sarah Palin.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • roscoe108

      Are you kidding me? Jong Un is a wicked porker, and hails from a country so poor that its people often revert to cannibalism. In other words, he would eat Palin. Which would be fine, but then we'd still have Jabba the Hutt to deal with.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:52 am | Reply
  63. Korean Observer

    Talks are useless and we now know that the North never keeps its word. So talks are not going to produce anything lasting or meaningful to South Korea or the US .. So unless China inserts language into any future agreement that has automatic penalties for breach, giving them goodies for a temporary lull is counter productive at best

    April 3, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • Korean Observer

      And KIm is young enough and foolhardy enough to really believe war with South Korea and the US could be productive for him .... I would not discount this scenario one bit. From a strategic perspective, the one game changer for this would be if South Korea got tactical nukes of their own - this might move China off its butt and actually engage in this issue

      April 3, 2013 at 10:19 am | Reply
  64. Chet

    Careful how hard you push Kim – you could be getting more than you bargained for!

    April 3, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • Bill

      Push Hell, need to go in there and remove his fat, stupid ass from power.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • stephen

      careful how hard we push? Hell, lets tie a chain around him and drag him to China.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  65. KT

    One of the better articles I've read on the situation so far. So much scare mongering out there that doesn't really address anything. Good to see a writer on CNN who actually understands the history in Korea a bit.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
  66. Ryeye

    i am afraid~
    Ryeye.com

    April 3, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
  67. Pleb

    Isolate them completely and close all borders – no one on this earth must have anything to do with them and then nuke them

    April 3, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  68. Anne

    It is time to bring these cavemen into the 21st century. I believe that K.J.U. is a puppet who is brainwashed by whomever is the real power ( the military ?) . Sometimes his eyes look drugged to me, and the poor brainwashed citizenry are pathetic victims. This modus operendi of bribing the world cannot continue, but how do you effect a regime change without terrible loss of life.? They have to know most of the world is sick to death of war and bloodshed.Perhaps that is one of their bargaining chips.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:12 am | Reply
  69. laughoutloud

    why is he so fat when his soldiers in the background and his people unseen are starving?

    April 3, 2013 at 10:11 am | Reply
  70. saeed

    nukes are pointless you cant use them anyway so its just time for usa britain and north korea to chill down and turn down the tension.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • Jack

      Who said nukes cannot be used? They have been before, remember?

      April 3, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • hog

      cant use nukes? don't waste money betting on that statement,if you think the USA wont use a nuke if they need too,there's something wrong.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Dave

      A young crazy leader MAY use them, and that is the problem here.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
  71. 2bits

    "Generally, dictators are not suicidal, and officials believe Kim Jong Un is no different."

    That's not a true statement when the subject is insane.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:02 am | Reply
  72. Bill Posters

    Dim Wrong-un aka Porky Fat Chops will back down first, after all dog eats dog.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
  73. John

    North Korea will inevitably win concessions from us in the form of economic or food aid as they always do through the use of their consistent practice of saber rattling which has always worked for them in the past. As always, we will be the ones to flinch and provide concessions to them as they inch forward to additional levels of militarization and nuclearization and pushing the envelope further and further along. They are adept at their game of chess with us and will ultimately advance their goals as they always have. Same old bullcrap response from us!

    April 3, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
  74. localyoke

    Time to take the matches away from these psychotic children.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  75. dbby

    Step back have talks for what? So this imp can extort grain from the free world to feed his army?

    I say let him and his cohorts starve !!!

    April 3, 2013 at 9:36 am | Reply
  76. stagger72

    Keep poking the bear with a stick, you little fat turd...

    April 3, 2013 at 9:35 am | Reply
    • Tjanson

      You know what is see with your comment, I see this fat little boy with a stick poking a large bear that is getting pretty annoyed. And suddenly the bear jumps up and eats the fat little boy in a single bite. Maybe it's for the best that the US and South Korea annihilates North Korea. Good riddance.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • stephen

      LOL, now I can't get that image out of my head. Thanks for the laugh!

      April 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  77. michael

    North Korea's elaborate game of chicken with U.S.

    good way to make your land into a parking lot

    April 3, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • guy

      ....a parking lot for the Chinese super mall

      April 3, 2013 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • palin twit

      We're never going to do that, so that's just silly empty rhetoric.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
  78. Terry

    In the battle of wits,no one is the loser if not one side,both sides or all sides to the resolution realize what is a situation with all losers

    April 3, 2013 at 9:23 am | Reply

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