North Korea’s provocative actions may seem fueled by lunacy, but they are carefully planned steps to acquire leverage in the long-lasting standoff with America, infers Zeeshan Aleem of Vox. The regime has long realized that war is too big a cost for either side, so it has strategically pushed the boundaries of acceptable behavior in order to get what it wants. Its behavior, which may seem illogical to outsiders, makes it appear strong to its own people and gives the impression that other nations are afraid of engaging it. This air of psychopathy has long served North Korea well, which it will continue using to keep its people united and enemies at bay.
Kim Jong Un is an unstable and dangerous leader that needs to be dealt with extreme caution, holds Mark Almond of the Daily Mail. Over his reign he has shown that he doesn’t fear the potentially fatal consequences of engaging the U.S. in a nuclear staring contest. Backtracking is no longer an option for the leader, who would likely rather go to war than show the weakness of backing down. He has proven his ruthlessness with the execution of his uncle and murder of his half-brother. Whenever a challenge to Kim’s power emerges, he has to show strength by squashing it. War is no longer a distant possibility.