Gunfire exchanged at the Korean DMZ

Is this anything serious or just a form of pep rally for a thug regime led by a gout-crippled overweight manchild with a bad haircut? The New York Times reports:

South and North Korean troops exchanged gunfire across their tense border on Sunday, even as the South reaffirmed its desire to hold high-level talks with the North.

Ten North Korean soldiers approached the military demarcation line near Paju, north of Seoul, several times on Sunday, prompting South Korean border guards to broadcast warnings for them not to come any farther south, said a South Korean military spokesman, who spoke on the customary condition of anonymity.

The last time the North Korean troops approached the line, at around 5:40 p.m. on Sunday, South Korean troops fired warning shots, and that prompted a brief exchange of fire between guard posts on the two sides, the spokesman said. No casualties were reported.

All of this theatrical hostility has to be seen in the context of the disappearance and reappearance of fatboy/hereditary dictator Kim Jong Un, and the still-mysterious sudden visit to Seoul by top level North Koreans while the porcine potentate was still under wraps. Given the ongoing failure of the North Korean regime to provide a decent standard of living while their cousins to the south soar to undreamed of levels of wealth (and the news leaks out via ubiquitous cell phones and video players air-dropped and smuggled into the north), there has to be a high level of nervousness among the Pyongyang elite about the longevity of their regime.

It would all be comic – a real life version of an Onion story – if the North didn’t maintain a nuclear arsenal, and desperately need money just as ISIS comes into a hoard of roughly a bullion dollars. There’s plenty of opportunity for catastrophic mischief.

But in the meantime, the hardliner faction in the North has to be kept happy, should that delegation that visited be negotiating something big, such as, for instance, a package deal that sent the top thousand or so members of the regime to vacation villas in the Seychelles or South of France or somewhere else with a nice climate. Along with a coterie of chefs to keep them well-fed.

At least that’s my hope.

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