The Danger of North Korea: A Case of Boy Who Cried Wolf

A military parade taking place in North Korea.

A North Korean military parade.
Photo credit: Astrelok / Shutterstock

Today, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. warned that tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are at an all-time low.

“The crisis on the Korean peninsula is real—the worst I’ve seen,” Harris stated. “There is some doubt within the intelligence community whether Kim Jong Un has that capability today or whether he will soon, but I have to assume he has it, the capability is real, and that he’s moving towards it.”

But despite grave warnings from top U.S. military officials, a significant portion of Americans remain unconcerned about the conflict. A recent poll conducted by AOL News revealed that 36% of Americans are not fearful about a North Korea attack at all.

Why?

Because this isn’t the first time that North Korea has threatened to “destroy” the United States. In the past 11 years alone, North Korea has carried out a total of five nuclear tests and war hasn’t broken out yet. On top of that, top government officials keep reassuring the public that North Korea doesn’t yet have the capacity to launch a nuclear warhead that could reach the U.S.

Key word: “yet.”

And that’s precisely the point that Harris is trying to make. He argues that North Korean nuclear warheads are not a matter of “if” but “when.”

“Kim Jong Un is making progress and all nations need to take this seriously because their missiles point in all directions,” Harris warned. “If left unchecked, they will match the capability of his hostile rhetoric.”

On top of that, reports are surfacing that the U.S. may not have the proper resources to defend against a nuclear attack. But despite all of this worrisome evidence, 36% Americans simply aren’t concerned because North Korea has made these types of threats in the past. Kim Jong Un has established a reputation for himself as being all bark, no bite.

But that’s precisely why he’s so dangerous. If Americans don’t start taking these threats seriously, they’ll be completely caught off guard and unprepared when North Korea does launch a strike. It’s a classic case of boy who cried wolf.

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