Kim Jong-un must be taken seriously in spite of his continual threats. Jokes about his missiles that blowup on the ground might provide a bit of comic relief, but all it takes is one successful one aimed at the right target with the right warhead, and war will be on.
It would not be a war such as those to which America has been accustomed these past few decades. While there is little doubt that Mr. Kim would lose in a full-scale war against the United States, the sheer carnage that would be released on North Korea and surrounding nations is hideous to consider.
Our military and intelligence services clearly know far more than they are telling, but some of that knowledge might be couched in probabilities. What is the likelihood that Mr. Kim has a working nuclear weapon that he can deliver? Would he deliver it, and where? Or, for a more distressing thought, could one of his submarines get close enough to the U.S. West coast to hit one of our coastal cities with a non-conventional warhead?
Imagine the notoriety and fame he would achieve by such a feat. If we've thought of it, so has he.
More on page two.