If you saw a nighttime satellite shot of the peninsula of Korea, the southern half would be lit up like a Christmas tree while the northern half would resemble a black hole in space with a sparse sprinkling of lights mainly around the Pyongyang area.
There is a simple reason for this condition: it's just that there are no lights to speak of in North Korea because electricity is scarce and hoarded by the government, as are most of the necessities of life in this sad land north of the 38th Parallel.
There are no forests of trees because they have been cut down and used as fuel for cooking and warmth, and anything that's even remotely eatable has been picked, dug up or ripped away in an attempt to keep body and soul together by a people who have been left to fend for themselves living on acorns, roots and tree bark and whatever they can coax out of the barren soil.
There are labor camps in North Korea where the inmates are fed subsistence diets and literally worked to death, where every semblance of human dignity or sense of family is stripped away and the people know nothing but fear and back-breaking labor.
The North Korean leadership lives a life of luxury and indulgence and spends the meager national income on maintaining a massive military and developing weapons of mass destruction to sell to rogue nations and threaten the free world.
If you look at the situation from the outside, it makes no sense at all. It's an internationally isolated, totally impoverished nation which can't even feed its people, has almost no industry and a primitive and inadequate agriculture, with a population ruled by fear and intimidation, uninformed and uneducated.
And, yet, one word from their pasty-faced "dear leader" can send shock waves around the entire planet.
Admittedly, a third world nation with a nuclear weapon is a frightening thing, especially in the hands of a 27-year-old novice who inherited a dictatorship, is isolated from the international world of diplomacy and wields absolute power over a population that has no vote, no recourse and no control over their lives.
But, as much of a loose canon as this Kim Jong Un is, as unstable and childish as he seems to be, there is one stark fact that he is well aware of and has to live with.
He knows that the first time he attempts to fire off a nuclear warhead or seriously mounts an attack on South Korea or any of the other nations in the neighborhood, the combination of the Republic of Korea and the United States military has the means at its disposal to annihilate North Korea in the span of about 20 minutes or so.
America has strategically placed bases close to the border with North Korea that have nuclear-hardened airplane hangars, runways protected by patriot missiles and a force of young men and women trained and ready to make life miserable and short for Kim Jong Un should he be foolish enough to fire the first shot.
All that to say this:
Kim Jong Un may be eccentric and dangerous, but I don't believe he's ready to die just for the sake of taking one futile shot at the free world, knowing that he and his nation would cease to exist before he ever even knew the results of his folly.
Of course, any response to a North Korean act of war would have to originate from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and your guess is as good as mine as to how that would go.
I actually haven't heard the occupant say much on the subject.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem
God Bless America