Kim Jong-un’s brief reign is a couple of weeks deep into its first major crisis, and while it is in many ways virtually identical to crises between the US and his father and grandfather, it has still lent itself to scrutinizing the differences.
Admiral Sam Locklear III, the US Pacific Commander, says that he sees a big difference in planning. “His father and his grandfather always figured into their provocation cycle an off-ramp of how to get out of it,” Locklear said, adding he isn’t sure if this situation includes one.
US officials clearly aren’t too keen on Kim Jong-un, but since they didn’t like the other Kims either this likely isn’t a significant change. The real, important difference, if any, would be with China.
And there is speculation in that regard too, with the Chinese media increasingly debating whether the alliance is intact, and obvious signs of frayed relations. It isn’t clear where the Chinese government’s leadership stands on all of this, but it is apparent that they are annoyed by the ongoing crisis and want the situation back to normal as soon as possible.
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