Kim Jong-un's long game isn't suicidal annihilation, it's to remain in power.
Bonnie Kristian writes:
Stop me if you've heard this one: North Korea has tested a new weapon. The United States and assorted allies have responded with strongly worded statements and a show of symbolic military force. The Kim Jong-un regime takes deep and dramatic offense and declares its enormous superiority.
We all briefly consider whether our homes are in a likely target area and, if not, how well we'd fare in a post-apocalyptic economy. And then everything goes back to normal until the North's next weapons test.
U.S. tensions with North Korea have settled into this regular pattern of provocation, outrage, and escalation. Pyongyang has fired 17 missiles in 11 tests since President Trump took office, making the outlined script a regular feature of the news cycle. The holding pattern is set.
But what if it isn't? Serious and repeated reports indicate the Trump White House is reviewing a wide range of options for dealing with North Korea, including forcible regime change entailing, in Trump's words, "major, major conflict."