“Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.”  Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 600 B.C.

By this he meant that the better you know your enemies, the better you’ll be able to deal with them and their threats. At first glance it might seem difficult to pierce North Korea’s curtain of secrecy and isolation to figure out what is really going on in mind of the nation’s hereditary leader, Kim Jong Un, but…maybe not!

Kim, the heir of a 70 year long dictatorship, is playing the dangerous, evil and potentially catastrophic game of nuclear blackmail – but as a recent WSJ article retired Major General Robert Scales who served in South Korea and former N.Y. Democrat congressman Steve Israel points out, he isn’t unpredictable.

Here’s why:

The US can neutralize the blackmail threat by rapidly ramping up its defensive ballistic-missle capabilities. America should build on the technologies of Israel’s three missle interceptor systems – Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow –  to supplement its already impressive capability to strike enemy missles, while expanding economic sanctions against North Korea and building up our alliance with China.

There can be little doubt in Kim’s mind that a nuclear strike on America soil, and likely even on ]Japan or any other America ally, would surely result in an annihilating response. Our leaders don’t need to rant and rave and threaten him; he already knows.  More likely, he hopes that by showing that he has a bomb he can force us to back away, something which seems unlikely at present.

The US military may one day be forced to attack Kim’s military infrastructure, but right now we need to attack his thinking. Most would agree that the North Korean dictator is irrational, but there is a rational side to his craziness. He seems to be calculating his moves, threats and strengths almost as if playing a strategic war game, and he is not unpredictable. The more we grasp what passes for logic in his tortured mind, the better we can exploit his thinking, the more predictable the outcome may be.

[The complete WSJ article may be found here but may not be accessible unless you’re a WSJ subscriber  https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-well-do-we-know-kim-jong-un-1503868457?mod=cx_picks&cx_navSource=cx_picks&cx_tag=contextual&cx_artPos=4#cxrecs_s   ]