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KADNER: Trump, Kim, Putin prove it is a mad, mad world

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In a world full of erratic madmen, a sensible half-wit might seem a wizard.

Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, is building nuclear weapons. He has said, “If the American imperialists provoke us a bit, we will not hesitate to slap them with a pre-emptive nuclear strike. The United States must choose! It’s up to you whether the nation called the United States exists or not.”

OPINION

The United States is the greatest nuclear power in the history of the world. Its leader is Donald Trump, a man whose mental stability has been called into question by members of his own political party.

Knowing that some people claim Kim is insane, Trump threatened him with “fire and fury” the likes of which the world has never seen.

The U.S. secretary of defense warned Kim that his nation faces “total annihilation.”

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has called rhetoric coming from the United States dangerous and warned it could result in a widespread conflict. The policy of putting economic pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear arms development is “erroneous and futile,” Putin said.

Before interfering in the U.S. presidential elections, did Putin ponder the possibility that his scheme could result in the election of an unpredictable narcissist who might incite a nuclear war by saying something so outrageous it would provoke a lunatic like Kim to use weapons of mass destruction?

Look at a world map and you will notice that Russia shares a border with North Korea. If nuclear weapons start falling anywhere near that area, the radiation clouds will likely spread over Vladimir Putin’s country. I’m guessing he knows this, as the former chief of the Russian intelligence service.

Yet, he seems to see some political advantage in the escalating dispute between the U.S. and North Korea, apparently believing it’s worth the risk of nuclear war to have the two nations at each other’s throats.

Russia is the second-largest nuclear power in the world. In third place is China, which also shares a border with North Korea.

Earlier this year, South Korea retrieved a missile launched by North Korea that landed in the ocean. This was a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that the Koreans hope will one day be capable of reaching the United States.

Upon inspection, it was discovered that many of the key electronic components in the missile had been made in China.

China has been urging the United States to remain calm and ease up on the inflammatory rhetoric in its confrontation with North Korea.

But China has been North Korea’s closest ally for decades. It has watched as that country continued to develop its nuclear program and done nothing to stop it.

Chinese leaders contend they have no influence over the irrational North Korean dictator.

Well, if you had a crazy neighbor living across the street from you, would you be selling him the components to make a bomb?

No sane person would do that. Chinese leaders did.

So here we are. I have listened as many expert foreign policy analysts said not to fear nuclear war with Korea. Eventually, calmer heads will prevail, they contend. North Korea will be recognized as a legitimate nuclear power and we will all move on from there.

South Korea has indicated it may start its own nuclear weapons program. Japan may do so as well. Iran, of course, has been working toward this goal for many years.

And terrorists are always looking to upgrade their capability to do harm. North Korea might be a willing seller.

A half-wit would realize the danger of the situation. I see no world leader with that sort of perception.

Email: philkadner@gmail.com