Is Kim Jong Un more dangerous than his father?
The late Kim Jong Il (left) and his son Kim Jong Un (right), the current leader of North Korea
March 7th, 2013
06:57 PM ET

Is Kim Jong Un more dangerous than his father?

By Elise Labott

North Korea's threat to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States has puzzled American officials, who see the regime ramping up its threats and rhetoric.

It's leading to the belief that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is more unpredictable, more dangerous and harder to read than his late father, Kim Jong Il.

"The new leader is acting in ways a bit more extreme than his father, who was colder and more calculated," a senior administration official said. "Kim Jong Il was more aware of the off-ramps to end these escalations.

"I don't recall he ever went this far in terms of the pace and scope of the rhetoric. Threatening to launch nukes directly against the United States and South Korea confirms what a lot of people have been saying, which is we are dealing with someone new," the official added.

Comparing Kim Jong Il, who died last December, to a chess player, the official said the son is more like a boxer.

"Nobody knows what he has planned, what he is thinking or contemplating doing or why the North Koreans are tripling down on their rhetoric," the official said.

Another senior administration official said Kim's youth and education abroad offered promise for many North Korea watchers that he would be more willing to engage with the West.

"Unfortunately, he is following the example of his father and grandfather pretty closely," the official said. "It's hard to be optimistic."

His grandfather, Kim Il Sung, was the founding leader of North Korea.

Officials said the latest threats, coupled with North Korea's nuclear test last month and its launch of a long-range rocket into space in December, have the United States and South Korea bracing for the possibility of a violent response by Pyongyang to tougher U.N. sanctions approved on Thursday.

They pointed to the 2010 sinking of a South Korean submarine and shelling of a South Korean island.

"It's dangerous to dismiss these threats as just rhetoric and propaganda, the second official said. "It's hard to predict."

Leading up to the U.N. vote, North Korea upped its bellicose rhetoric.

A spokesman for the foreign ministry suggested the United States "is set to light a fuse for a nuclear war."

As a result, North Korea "will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors and to defend the supreme interests of the country," the country said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Despite the strong language, analysts say North Korea is years away from having the technology necessary to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile and aim it accurately at a target. And, analysts say, North Korea is unlikely to seek a direct military conflict with the United States.

North Korea's behavior is even more curious because it comes as South Korea's new president, Park Geun-hye, took office last week calling for new dialogue with the North. Although she pledged a strong defense posture and retaliation against North Korean provocations, she called for easing tensions that grew under her predecessor.

"Given that for five years they were so angry at the previous president, Lee Myung-bak, why would they mortgage the next five years by being so difficult when a new South Korea leader is just taking office," the first official asked. "It's so very concerning."

Officials note that China, North Korea's closest ally, has demonstrated unprecedented frustration with Pyongyang's behavior.

In rare public statements, a top Chinese Communist party official suggested that China abandon North Korea and support unification with South Korea.

"We are in a new territory. Something is happening in China," one of the officials said. "For the North to be acting this way at this time has everyone on edge on what is going on, but nobody has good answers because the country is so opaque. We are trying to find a precedence to explain this."

The worst possible explanation, the official said, "is that the North Koreans don't have a plan. That is when chances for miscalculation are the greatest."

soundoff (418 Responses)
  1. No further tests

    We should attemt to shoot down any and all missles that they might fire, test ot not!

    March 8, 2013 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Brian

      Unfortunately that is deemed an act of war by international law, so it would certainly give them political ammunition that many countries would be compelled to acknowledge. I guess we are technically at war with them, but it would be as irresponsible of an escalation as what the North is doing now.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  2. PFKThorin

    It's "precedent," not "precedence." C'mon, CNN. Anyway, this is all just political posturing and bluster. While I suspect that there may be some limited conflict in the near future (like a border skirmish), full-out war isn't really in the cards for the Korean Peninsula. If North Korea actually wanted to instigate a full-out war with a country, they would (in my opinion) appear to calm down until all sanctions are lifted, prepare their weapons/army in secret, and blindside the world with an all-out invasion.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Brian

      I completely agree. But the use of "precedence" was a quote from a Chinese official who probably hasn't quite mastered the English language. A (sic) might have been in order though.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
  3. urfrendnmine

    I think that thinking about what he is thinking is a waste of mind. But I think if somebody cut his brain open to find out what he HAD been thinking that would be a good thing.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:29 am | Reply
  4. SayanIndia

    He looks like an idiot and proven that convincingly through words and actions.

    Sayan.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
  5. DamianW

    Yep, was so surprised when I read South Korean "Submarine" doesn't anyone check facts?!

    March 8, 2013 at 10:21 am | Reply
    • Plausibus

      Just ask an individual from N. Korea about what you are allowed to see and hear outside of the Country, and what the differences are in reality. "...Most of the time there's a gun aimed at you just out of sight of the camera..." and "...the amount of window dressing is staggering, we are very far behind..."

      March 8, 2013 at 10:31 am | Reply
  6. Marty

    He's thinking about cheeseburgers.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • thissaantine

      Can haz cheezbrrgrr not made of cat plz!???!?!?

      March 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  7. NorCalMojo

    So much for the rising superpower. China still can't establish a stable hegemony.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  8. andy52

    Lack of maturity is always dangerous

    March 8, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  9. Rick

    How about what Kim's Father in Law is thinking that would be the best question to ask

    March 8, 2013 at 10:12 am | Reply
  10. Dipper

    He's just trying to impress his hot wife.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
  11. Jooan

    I fear it!

    March 8, 2013 at 10:06 am | Reply
  12. Chicago

    Nobody knows what Obama is thinking either...or if he is even thinking.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:05 am | Reply
    • Lilly

      Good point and I long for the days when we had Bush because we knew for sure he wasn't thinking. You need a brain to think and Bush lacked even a single neuron.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:30 am | Reply
  13. kathy

    I hope there's someone in that gov't that is bright enough to realize that if NK would ever launch a premptive nuclear strike against us or any country that it would mean the end of their country. I believe the retaliation would be to wipe NK off the map.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:01 am | Reply
    • Mikey

      If they snuck a suitcase bomb into SK and detonated it, do you really think USA would launch ICBM's into NK? Answer=NO! China is way too close. There would however be heavy raining of conventional bombs at anything that looked like a launch pad.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  14. hih

    Dennis knows

    March 8, 2013 at 9:56 am | Reply
  15. please china....

    You have a chance to make this right. Pull the rug out on NK, and get unification. The world will be a safer, better place.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • please china....

      oh yea... and don't hack me.

      March 8, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • thissaantine

        bahahahahahahah! /thumbsup

        March 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  16. abmri60

    When Kim went to school in Europe, he went under a different name.
    The fact that he has been brainwashed by his father and grandfather ideologies, makes him a dangerous person, he is there to finish the job the previous leaders set up for him.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
  17. MC

    He starts a war, loses and then collects BILLIONS in US rebuilding contracts....its as great plan, worked for the iraqis and afghans!

    March 8, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Jack Rabbit

      Didn't work too well for Sadam as I recall.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • thissaantine

      Pff why start a war? Unnecessary. Just 'hold peace talks'. So much more profitable.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  18. Badly-Bent

    The world will be so much more peaceful when he is gone.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • MC

      No, they'll just find another boogieman, the only people who have to worry about him are S Korea and the Chinese, let them pay for keeping him in check.

      March 8, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  19. Brian Smith

    Hi, I've got a feeling that he is blustering before beginning a new phase of negotiations. I just wanted to put it here in writing. I have a feeling changes are going to come this spring.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • Lilly

      An interesting point and one that has substance. It was the same tactic and his father and grandfather used.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • thissaantine

        Same tactic diplomats have been using from the beginning of time. There's even a comedy about it starring Peter Sellers – "The Mouse That Roared".

        March 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  20. pinkfloyd43

    North Korea is like a bully in middle school. Always fluffing up and bragging about how they are going to kick your ass. They must be handled just like a bully! Next time they 'fluff up' you go crazy on their ass and stop it before it has a chance to do you harm. It worked for me and may work for this. We (USA) certainly know where to hit them hard. Is it time now or wait till later? I don't know.

    You can only poke a beast so many times until the beast says enough and does something!

    March 8, 2013 at 9:08 am | Reply
    • Tom

      This particular bully has a big brother named China. It actually encourages him to be a bully. Prepare to jump them both.

      March 8, 2013 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • bobo

      America in 2016.......

      Over 20 Trillion in Debt, Constant unemployment of 7 &
      8%, Return of a Russian Empire, NY blown off the map by an Iranian/North Korean nuclear weapon, WWIII....... It’s Evening in America.

      Thank You Mr. Obama!

      March 8, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply
      • Tom

        There is a treatment for your condition.... Seek it.

        March 8, 2013 at 9:17 am |
      • Medallon

        In spanish bobo means someone who is not capable of thinking coherently, and makes constant irrelevant statements that do not make sense due to their mental state. You really nail that definition in the head.

        March 8, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • Fearless Freep

        Thank God for Obama.
        I cant even imagine how bad the mess would be with that Mormon Moron in charge.
        By the way, you can thank George Bush for the mess.

        March 8, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • cricket

        Thank you clueless Bush!

        March 8, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • A

        No, thank you Mr. Bush. You spent like a democrat and plunged us trillions into useless wars. Now you fade into the sunset and let others own your mistakes.

        March 8, 2013 at 9:56 am |
      • Mr. Obama

        You are welcome good citizen!!

        March 8, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  21. tricky dick

    Is he more dangerous than his father? He has more toys that go boom boom much louder.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
  22. tricky dick

    I think he is poking fun at our General Burnsides of the past.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:03 am | Reply
  23. tricky dick

    His ears have to be cold.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:02 am | Reply
  24. mique

    Power freak.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:59 am | Reply
  25. enuftrashtalk

    What is Kim thinking? Who cares. The best thing to do is ignore him (i.e. walk softly). Their noise is posturing, and it's not even good posturing.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
  26. sasidhar

    We can say with some certainty that N Korea WD make one foolish move and lead to reunification
    . China WD finally start moving towards democracy

    March 8, 2013 at 8:38 am | Reply
  27. JCDavis

    Yeah, we're dealing with someone new, but it's not Kim. It's the military.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:31 am | Reply
    • mdmarks2

      I completely agree

      March 8, 2013 at 8:48 am | Reply
  28. elvis316

    he'll never hit washington, they have an NBA franchise–he's a really big fan.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • tricky dick

      Probabably hit Dennis though.

      March 8, 2013 at 9:05 am | Reply
  29. generals

    north korea has no oil, or natural gas and not enough food and no gold or any industry for export other than military armery.. so building nukes is natural progression. they could sell technology in building nuclear power plants. etc. making nukes isn't that hard if this country can make nuclear power plants.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:13 am | Reply
    • Joshua

      "making nukes isn't that hard if this country can make nuclear power plants."
      that made me laugh so hard
      thx 🙂

      March 8, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  30. generals

    in 1992 north korea agreed not to develop nukes but it all changed when BUSH said north korea and iran wer axis of evil....and both countries started building their military...and developing nuclear weaponry as a deterent. nuclear weapons can be deactived its no big deal.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:10 am | Reply
    • bbg

      OMG, here we go again. Everyhtings is Bush's fault.

      March 8, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
      • mique

        Pretty much.

        March 8, 2013 at 9:00 am |
      • Trower

        Everything IS Bush's fault.

        March 8, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • cricket

        Hey, bbg. That's true. Live with it.

        March 8, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Chicago

      Quite possibly the dumbest comment on this board. Pick up your marbles and go home hippie.

      March 8, 2013 at 10:09 am | Reply
  31. JJ

    Kim Jong Phat Phuck is not thinking. North Korea is all about those new dances, the Braindead Knee Jerk and the Run At The Mouth.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:10 am | Reply
  32. DelMarVa

    The guy craves attention .. and the media takes the bait – every time!

    Since he loves basketball so much, have the NBA offer 2 or 3 franchises to him and advising he'll need to cough up about a $1 billion in cash – up front – to get started ... his choice; weapons program .. or NBA participation!

    March 8, 2013 at 8:08 am | Reply
  33. generals

    US foreign policy went downhill when BUSH said north korea was the axis of evil...and that was when north korea put resources in building nuclear weapons etc. north korea is 100% building of missles, tanks and guns,,that is it only export.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:07 am | Reply
  34. generals

    say kim is the boss is saying obama control US foreign policy...north korea policy is decided by the council and kim is just kid...the policy has been there for decades...prepare for war for 60 years.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:05 am | Reply
  35. tv22

    Time to send Rodman back, although this time with a suicide bomb strapped to him.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
  36. Jocho Johnson

    Possibly Jong Un Kim is just doing this for domestic consumption, similar to ridiculous statements Arab governments and media make about destroying Israel, while they know perfectly well they won't start any wars.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
  37. Scary thing

    Kim Jong is yet another fat baby throwing his weight around. What's really scary is that he's YOUNG, in charge of a communist country, and does whatever his enterage tells him to do. I'm more afraid of all the military idiots he spends 99% of his time with.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:00 am | Reply
  38. CSNKY

    Fat boy has been drinking too much soju. He needs to sober up and stop running his mouth.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:54 am | Reply
  39. Tony in St. Louis

    I say we hit him with a couple of well targeted drone strikes. Just to let him know that we're thinking of him! Modern warfare, ...on the cheap! No presence necessary!

    March 8, 2013 at 7:51 am | Reply
  40. bibleverse1

    He plays too much Call of Duty Modern War

    March 8, 2013 at 7:36 am | Reply
  41. Jahn

    Kim Jong Un will have to carry out at least one of his threats otherwise he will lose face in the eyes of his people.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:33 am | Reply
    • Mikey

      True that...There are lots of easy targets with the war games going on. I'm thinking the fate of the Korea's will be rewritten sometime next week.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  42. John

    Kim Jong Un is young and impressionable. He is being guided to all-out war by the old guard within Korea's government and being told that unless he strikes, he will be seen as weak and fall from rule.

    He will indeed attempt it.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:29 am | Reply
    • Rob

      Keep us up to date with anymore inside information that you receive!

      March 8, 2013 at 7:52 am | Reply
  43. Frank

    We know exactly what North Korea will do , it is a fact that the USA is a "paper tiger" and the best policy for any nation is to threaten the USA as they will shower you with gifts for doing so ! The only mistake Kim could make is if he failed to MURDER US troops this year then we would have no excuse to give him more $$$ ....relax people Obama has this covered North Korea will be one of the few atomic supper power of the future (the future that does not have the USA in it that is)

    March 8, 2013 at 7:28 am | Reply
  44. Paul

    I think Rodman gave Kim and this author some of the acid he has been taking for 20+ years.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:20 am | Reply
  45. rudolf vs

    This "man" probably has no thoughts, certainly no rational thoughts, as he is just sounding off his big mouth.
    This is what can happen when you are not responsible for anything.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:18 am | Reply
  46. G_Edwards

    "Nobody knows what he has planned, what he is thinking or contemplating doing or why the North Koreans are tripling down on their rhetoric," the official said.
    ================================

    Dennis Rodman apparently does.

    .

    March 8, 2013 at 5:28 am | Reply
    • Martin

      The problem is he is too young with too much power at his finger tips- I think he is looking for an excuse for war. He feels he has to make a name for himself outside the shadow of his father and grandfather. So now he is trying to project an image of strength, I do think though that he is going to corner himself into a position where he truly will see no other way than to strike. What's to say he cannot send a nuke to the US by boat.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:41 am | Reply
      • cmknight

        KIm Jong Un is not in power. He is only a figurehead. The real lunatics in power are the same ones who were under his father. Un is powerless as a young leader. He's a puppet.

        March 8, 2013 at 7:55 am |
  47. Semterman

    His head to body size is on the scale of Peter Gabriel's in his "Big Time" music video. Now that is one big, big, big head. LOL

    March 8, 2013 at 4:35 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      Actually kim jung aung sung sang un un vun is trying to see how he can reduce his headweight.

      March 8, 2013 at 4:43 am | Reply
  48. curt

    Just Get china's approval for u.s.a to drop a small nuclear bomb and end it

    March 8, 2013 at 4:35 am | Reply
    • curt

      I'm smoking that one hitter quiter

      March 8, 2013 at 4:46 am | Reply
    • rudolf vs

      Hmm... just a drone with a missile would probably be enough;
      however, better ask China first.

      March 8, 2013 at 6:23 am | Reply
      • Closer

        Why on Earth would China agree to that? Would we agree if China perceived Mexico as a threat to its interests and wanted to start a war there?

        March 8, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  49. rOBERT

    I think China went along this time because by doing so , if there is an attack they will know if US is committed and serious about it's intention and could signal weakness if we hesitate. Is the alpha male response theory. Know your enemy, if we back down in case of a NK attack to SK will wave red flags all over to China that they can come over and mess with us.

    March 8, 2013 at 2:50 am | Reply
    • Jeremy

      Or Taiwan.

      March 8, 2013 at 3:55 am | Reply
  50. JeffJ

    Nobody knows what Kim Jong Un is thinking?

    "the wheel on the bus goes round and round... round and round... round and round..."

    March 8, 2013 at 2:12 am | Reply
    • rudolf vs

      Does he know himself?

      March 8, 2013 at 6:25 am | Reply
  51. BIZNESS

    This is what is going on in the picture...

    Kim Jong Il " Eh boi, there is some rice left over in that pot, go get some!"
    Kim Jong Un " Oh daddy, you're silly, you know I just ate all the rice in the pot!"
    Guy behind Kim Jong Il with that creepy smile " hehehe...pot...hehehe"

    March 8, 2013 at 1:42 am | Reply
  52. Moe

    the sad truth is that even if NK destroys NK tomorrow and is destroyed in turn the UN and P5+1 will still be talking about the importance of engaging Iran in "useful dialogue" and holding talks in order to reach a reasonable agreement on Iran's desire to create nuclear energy for their peaceful use. There are people who would always rather believe that talk works with nutcase leaders than actually stand up to them.

    March 8, 2013 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • Moe

      I meant of course if they destroyed SK tomorrow

      March 8, 2013 at 1:27 am | Reply
  53. Kai

    How is this at all Dennis Rodman's fault?! Rodman went over there without any political agenda to meet a die hard Chicago Bulls fan (there's a pic of a young KJ Un in Rodman's jersey) and KJ Un basically met one of his childhood heroes. Rodman comes back and simple says, 'Hey he's not all that bad.' And then everyone ridicules, insults, and puts Dennis Rodman down like he's a court jester (granted he's a bit eccentric). We all know how North Korea is and their flaws as a country, but if your father was a socialist dictator you wouldn't know any better either.

    I'm not sticking up for KJ Un or North Korea, but look at it this way...

    You meet your childhood hero; that person who you idolized as a kid growing up. And you that meeting that person is something that you know could/would/will never happen, but then years later it does! All your childhood memories of being a superstar and larger than life (fantasies we all had when we were younger) come rushing back to you. Then you guys actually hit it off and connect! Then that dream comes to an end, and you remember what your responsibilities to your country are and who are you. Finally, you watch your childhood hero go back and get completely horribly ripped apart and insulted by EVERYONE! Rodman said nothing about the politics; he just commented on KJ Un and the impression he had of him, and how did have we responded....

    March 8, 2013 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • Larry

      Good point, but what does it say about someone if he lifelong hero is Dennis Rodman?

      March 8, 2013 at 3:54 am | Reply
    • jman

      Kai, you are a light in an otherwise dark tunnel. Great post.

      March 8, 2013 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • POWMIA

      Kai and Jman, you just don't get it do you? Loyal Americans don't aid our enemies. North Korea invited Rodman over as a propaganda tool, and he was dumb enough to not realize that. Anyone who jumps in the middle of a very tense situation between our country and another one that is threatening to go to war with us deserves the kind of treatment Rodman got. He is probably more of a moron than a traitor, but he doesn't get a free pass just because he is an idiot with zero judgment. The best excuse he could come up with to justify buddying up with their leader is that he was a huge fan of Rodman and the Bulls?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:12 am | Reply
  54. gb

    Informative article, hopefully mostly accurate. But of course Kim Jong Il did NOT die "last December," he died in December 2011, so one wonders....

    March 8, 2013 at 1:09 am | Reply
  55. Kolob101

    Sure, somebody knows and it's Dennis Rodman. He's perfectly in tune with that zipper head.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:52 am | Reply
  56. Broadcom1

    It's very plain and simple... Kim Jong Un is more nuts than his late father, Kim Jong Il. The media basically said the same thing about Saddam Hussein's sons, saying that they were more mentally unstable than him. But look at where all of them ended up, killed by the U.S. military after so many years. I believe, over time, that the fate of Kim Jong Un may very well rest in the U.S.'s hands (or perhaps one of our allies).

    I agree with the author of this article when they compared Il's way of thinking to like watching or playing a game of chess. However, now that Un is in power, rather than sit back and "analyze" the situation like his father did, he'd rather run off his mouth and threaten to steamroll any country that he views as a threat, unto which he has been developing quite a list lately with countries that he hates. Instead of acting like a coward and having Jay Carney release bonehead statements to the press like "we have advanced weapons to defend the U.S. from such attacks," Obama should personally tell Un that if he goes ahead with such a scenario, then we'll wipe N. Korea off the face of the earth and send them all back to the stone age!! Of course, Obama will never do that, because he's too much of a coward. Plus, it's much easier to have other, more "robotic" people like Carney spew out lies anyway. Lately, however, it seems as if Carney and the Obama administration have been having creditability issues with the media anyway. This does not surprise me as it is not the first time that they have lied to the public in efforts to cover up their own filthy tracks.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:45 am | Reply
    • vet

      Or on the other hand, perhaps POTUS Obama understands the difference between being tough, and talking tough while risking tens of thousands of lives just to save face. Ask anyone who's actually seen NK defenses, and fought in a war and they'll tell you no matter how you cut it, lots of our men and women will die along with the people of the Korean peninsula if this goes down. Victory or not, plenty of ours will DIE. Death is forever my friend. The longer they want to sit behind the DMZ the better. Let them waste away. Obama knows no matter what he says to look like a "tough leader" it's the lives of his loyal service members he's bartering with. Let the elected official do his job. There's still a chance NK's people will get tired of tasteless food and government mandated lack of freedom or fun.

      March 8, 2013 at 4:45 am | Reply
  57. Gordon Mayer

    If I were him, I'd be thinking about getting a new barber!!

    March 8, 2013 at 12:25 am | Reply
  58. Gordon Mayer

    What is he thinking? Give me a break!!!!!!!!! Thinking,..........at his age? You'd have to reach into his skivies to tell what he's thinking!!!!!! Who comes up with these headlines?

    March 8, 2013 at 12:24 am | Reply
  59. Duke

    "Another senior administration official said Kim's youth and education abroad offered promise for many North Korea watchers that he would be more willing to engage with the West." ... well remember that Bashir Assad was educated in England, as an opthamologist. All this means is we have a better-educated crazy person, with a better understanding of the west.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:17 am | Reply
  60. R.MC

    Kinda makes me wonder if anyone in North Korea ever heard of Nixon's "Madman theory". This whole situation reeks of it

    March 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  61. vidal808

    I just don't get it. This guy is insane and we are buying in to his stupid talk about Pre-emtied strike. We know damn right that the US can wipe that country off the map in an instant. So what is all that talk? It should be ignored and not even reported in the news. But then again, bad news are good news for the news, jejejeje.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • Kevin

      It's news because South Korea is one of America's closest allies and North Korea has demonstrated incredible aggression in recent years toward them. Nobody takes their threats toward the U.S. seriously, but toward South Korea, this kind of saber rattling is definitely concerning. It becomes less and less "saber rattling" and more and more "dire risk" after recent attacks on South Korea. North Korea knows that any significant attack on the South will result in U.S. involvement, hence the consistent rhetoric. That's my theory at least. They didn't hesitate to outright attack the South in recent years, so one can assume nothing has changed... when nothing has obviously changed other than more frequent threats. It is news, and if they run more successful long range rocket tests, it'll start getting real interesting.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:22 am | Reply
      • Gordon Mayer

        South Korea is one of the US's closest dependents, not ally.

        March 8, 2013 at 12:28 am |
  62. smacknfact

    Yes, he is far more suicidal.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  63. Brad76

    Strange that Un would tell Rodman that he doesn't want war then immediately follow that up with threats of war.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
    • Gordon Mayer

      Rodman told him to launch the attack.........that whack NBA mofo!!

      March 8, 2013 at 12:31 am | Reply
    • jman

      Im pretty sure Un said nothing of the sort to Rodman.

      You're an idiot.

      March 8, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
  64. cm74130

    It seems to me that a possible attack mode that NK could pull off in the near term would be smuggling a nuclear device into SK or the US. Doesn't seem like it would be smart, but, as the article says, who knows? Maybe China will clear this up? Seems like they wouldn't want a nuclear loose canon running around.

    I hope that if such an attack or a major threat develops that our military planners are planning a non-nuclear response. Should be easy to wipe out the regime without killing everybody in NK, or starting WW III?

    March 7, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  65. SPECULARI

    Look at that picture, everyone including KJu looks like they are afraid they could be shot at any moment.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  66. editorjared

    If Kim Jong Un doesn't come up with a better plan for his country than he has for his hair, this situation is going to get ugly in a hurry.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  67. nvmature

    Dennis Rodman might know. But then who knows what Dennis Rodman is thinking?

    March 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  68. common tater

    Saying "we are dealing with someone new" and characterizing him as a "boxer" is bound to encourage more of the same. He is an erratic, despotic, megalomaniact, like his father. And his grandfather Kim Il-song was in no way the "founder" of North Korea. He was a figurehead put in place by the Soviets; the Soviet founded North Korea. He should be shown that an end to the cease fire would not be a good deal for him. We can bring a lot more fire to bear than he can.

    March 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  69. Mark Silvers

    Some men just want to watch the world burn.....

    March 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  70. John

    This kid just needs food.

    March 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • The Other John

      And a nap.

      March 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
    • Terry from Florida

      Food? Look at him. He needs Jenny Craig... and maybe a time-out.

      March 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  71. TheBob

    What is Kim Jong Un thinking? Well, I can tell you at least one of the things that occupy that pea-sized brain of his: FOOD.

    March 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  72. fedupwithla

    This guy is dangerous. He's still a kid, so he thinks he can shoot off his mouth. He just hasn't earned his lumps yet. Well, given enough time he may just have to earn his lumps. Why not put the beast to a test? C'mon, NK, bring it on! See what you get in return!

    March 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • Major Tom

      You mean *taken* his lumps, or earned his *stripes* not "earned his lumps".

      March 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • cja

      Do you really think he is in charge? He is a puppet the real leaders push out front.

      March 7, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Reply
      • jac999

        Agree...
        And who are the real leaders?
        And who are their real leaders?

        March 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
      • jman

        You really gotta wonder...The old guard probably has their foot in most of the business but then who are their suitors?

        March 8, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  73. snope

    It is Kim Jong-Un's uncle, Jang Song-Taek, who is running the show behind the scene after the death of Kim Jong-Il

    March 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • jac999

      Agree... there's more than meets the eye. Is he a puppet? Is the entire NK being used as a puppet by someone even more sinister?

      March 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  74. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    March 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  75. Christopher Hwang

    North Korea is (1) testing the China-DRPK alliance in the face of new Chinese leadership (2) pressing the international community to act and (3) the young Kim is attempting to consolidate his power...

    March 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Reply
    • Major Tom

      His big mouth is writing checks that his treasury can't cash.

      March 7, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Reply
      • jman

        Pretty much.

        March 8, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  76. Vic

    This guy could have been great for his country and lead them out of the mess and problems his father got them into. He could have opened the border and brought peace to the Korean peninsula...instead he takes them closer to the brink. Sad days are ahead.

    March 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  77. oneWayfarer

    HEROIN is a harsh mistress

    March 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  78. charles bowen

    Chubby little bugger ain't he?????He is about to let his alligator mouth overload his hummingbird butt.... Kim Jong Boom was that? Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    March 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  79. T

    ,,,,,,,I doubt ths comes from the kid...........I think the kid is simply the figurehead of the NK military......

    March 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • jac999

      Agree.

      March 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  80. CNN

    Dear Brodhacm,

    Do you need a job ?
    You seem to have time to spare.

    March 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • Ryan Evans

      freelance writer here, I would trade my left lung, left cojone, and maybe even develop left-leaning tendencies for a writing job at cnn.com. Do there exist prerequisites beyond noticing poor writing? I'd be fantastic at that. I do believe that your "belief" blog has actually caused my senses to revolt in the form of physical pain a few times...

      i'll even throw in extra ellipses for free...

      signed,
      skeptical...

      March 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
      • Free Thinker

        You're wasting your time. The majority of cnn.com "writers" are unpaid interns. The quality of articles should have been a dead giveaway. Maybe instead of offering your left lung and your left cojone you can just accept a zero pay agreement. You write for cnn.com, have your name appear at the top of article, and in return, cnn.com will pay you $0.00 per week. Sound like a deal?

        March 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Marc

      Why, because he's right?

      March 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Reply
    • ThisGuyRightHere

      And what would you trade to learn to write properly?

      March 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  81. Brodhacm

    A South Korean Submarine was not sunk it was a South Korean Corvette sunk buy a North Korean submarine CNN edit your articles

    March 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • outpatientisin

      Exactly. What wever happened to checking "facts".

      March 8, 2013 at 8:37 am | Reply
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