The betting favorite is little rocket man wins his risky game. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan.
North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D.C.
Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that missile, which could be fired with precision, and survive the severe vibrations of re-entry. More tests and more time are needed for that.
Thus, U.S. markets brushed off the news of Kim’s Hwasong-15 missile and roared to record heights on Wednesday and Thursday.
President Donald Trump took it less well. “Little Rocket Man” is one “sick puppy,” he told an audience in Missouri.
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council that “if war comes … the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” She then warned Xi Jinping that “if China does not halt the oil shipments” to North Korea, “we can take the oil situation into our own hands.”
Is Haley talking about bombing pipelines in North Korea — or China?
The rage of the president and bluster of Haley reflect a painful reality: As inhumane and ruthless as the 33-year-old dictator of North Korea is, he is playing the highest stakes poker game on the planet, against the world’s superpower, and playing it remarkably well.
Reason: Kim may understand us better than we do him, which is why he seems less hesitant to invite the risks of a war he cannot win.
While a Korean War II might well end with annihilation of the North’s army and Kim’s regime, it would almost surely result in untold thousands of dead South Koreans and Americans.
And Kim knows that the more American lives he can put at risk, with nuclear-tipped missiles, the less likely the Americans are to want to fight him.
His calculation has thus far proven correct.
As long as he does not push the envelope too far, and force Trump to choose war rather than living with a North Korea that could rain nuclear rockets on the U.S., Kim may win the confrontation.
Why? Because the concessions Kim is demanding are not beyond the utterly unacceptable.
To continue reading: Little Rocket Man’s Risky Game