Another day, another propaganda campaign by North Korea. These headline chasing photo-ops and rhetoric have become so routine, one can set clocks by them.

How many times does the world have to see these laughable images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or his predecessor and father Kim Jong Il, saluting the troops with some awkward salute, looking at “the enemy” through binoculars, or flexing their antiquated military muscle with parade after parade?

Former U. S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman recently said in an interview about North Korea’s headline strategy: “The North Koreans have a way of manipulating not just regional headlines, but also global headlines and then asking for concessions, and sadly people step-up and give them concessions. This just continues in cycles, and here we are again.”

“These external provocations that we are witnessing are pretty much indicative of internal political challenges. Which is to say the young 29-year-old Jong Un is further trying to consolidate power among the central military and political elite,” said Huntsman.

North Korea seems to be a master at bluffing with a bad hand. But, this time even Chinese President Xi Jinging seems to have had enough of his neighbor’s nonsense and petulant, childish behavior. Xi recently said in a stunning speech: “No country should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish reasons.”

To complicate matters, almost the entire Korean peninsula — Japan, South Korea, China, and North Korea — have new untested leaders, who are still sizing each other up. Even the United States has a new secretary of state. But, no one seems to be engaging North Korea in substantive, constructive talks in place of political rhetoric.

The Six Party Talks, which also includes Russia, have to restart in earnest if we want to put an end to this bombastic propaganda madness. Real international diplomacy must be interjected soon.

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman shouldn’t be the only person talking to Jong Un. Though Rodman via a CNN interview did deliver an important message to President Obama from Jong Un: “Call me.”

 

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