Illustration by Christine Hipp
Illustration by Christine Hipp

After a few weeks of making a diplomatic circus with Dennis Rodman serving as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s personal jester, North Korea’s nullifying of the 1953 Korean War armistice last Monday must be their cruelest joke yet. Only this time, no country’s leaders will be laughing.

North Korea’s response is a reaction to joint military drills by U.S. and South Korean troops. These drills are routine between the two armies and not truly a provocation.

However, Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s regime, reported that Mr. Kim severed a hotline to South Korea’s president that was intended to stop war while boldly proclaiming that “the time for final showdown has arrived,” according to Monday’s L.A. Times.

These are not the type of comments any leader should make, much less one with a nuclear arsenal at their disposal. City on a Hill Press urges Kim to remember that only he can change the course of North Korea from provoking international ire to a path of pacifism and prosperity.

For the new Kim Jong-un regime, a war with South Korea may be viewed as a way to prove himself to North Korea’s powerful elite, who oppose the 30-year-old leader’s inexperience.

Kim Jong-un inherited a mess of problems that could be fixed via diplomacy. His people are hungry because of his actions to seek nuclear arms when they could receive outside food aid via non-governmental organizations waiting day in and day out to help North Korea’s helpless civilians. North Korea does not possess enough doctors or medicine for their ailing population and their economy is stagnant.

A little connection to the United States and South Korea, two states with vast resources and a deep interest in disarmament, could at least patch over some of these problems on the list above. Instead, Mr. Kim chooses to continue his father’s policy of uranium enrichment when he could enrich the lives of his people.

In truth, Mr. Kim looks much like the images of the capitalists his grandfather Kim Il-sung described when he fought for an independent North Korea. While Mr. Kim enjoys basketball performances by the Harlem Globetrotters or an expensive appetite for jewels, his people continue to be obedient in the wake of his dominance with little to show for it.

These actions only show the tip of the corrupt iceberg Mr. Kim commands. Instead of making Dennis Rodman an unofficial spokesman for more peaceful interests, Mr. Kim must open a discussion with United States’ and South Korea’s diplomats if he ever intends to make North Korea a better place.

For Mr. Kim, now is the time to get serious about making the lives of North Korean’s better. That desire should not be considered a laughing matter by your regime — even if Dennis Rodman is involved.