North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Holds Military Meeting as Deadline Looms and Tensions Rise

North Korea’s duplicitous leader Kim Jong
Un held a military meeting as a self-imposed deadline for peace approaches, and tensions
with the U.S. rise, as Reuters reports: “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a
meeting of top military officials to discuss boosting the country’s military capability,
state news agency reported on Sunday amid heightened concern the North may be about
to return to confrontation with Washington. Kim presided over an enlarged meeting of the
ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission, KCNA news agency said, to discuss
steps “to bolster up the overall armed forces of the country … militarily and politically.” “Also discussed were important issues for
decisive improvement of the overall national defense and core matters for the sustained
and accelerated development of military capability for self-defense,” KCNA said. It did not give details on when the meeting
was held nor what was decided. The commission is North Korea’s top military
decision-making body. Kim rules the country as its supreme military commander and is the
chairman of the commission. North Korea has set a year-end deadline for
the United States to change what it says is a policy of hostility amid a stalemate in
efforts to make progress on their pledge to end the North’s nuclear program and establish
lasting peace. Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump have met
three times since June 2018, but there has been no substantive progress in dialogue while
the North demanded crushing international sanctions be lifted first. On Saturday, the state media said the United
States would “pay dearly” for taking issue with the North’s human rights record and
said Washington’s “malicious words” would only aggravate tensions on the Korean
Peninsula. North Korea has also repeatedly called for
the United States to drop its “hostile policy” and warned about its “Christmas gift”
as the end-year deadline it set for Washington to change its position looms. Some experts say the reclusive state may be
preparing for an intercontinental ballistic missile test that could put it back on a path
of confrontation with the United States. The U.S. envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun,
has visited South Korea and China in the past week, issuing a public and direct call to
North Korea to return to the negotiating table, but there has been no response.” While an all out assault by the U.S. on North
Korean military assets would put a quick end to any threat from the North Koreans, that
is the last thing anyone wants. Kim Jong Un would best serve his country by
ditching the belligerent tone, and bring peace and prosperity to his people. No one wants war, but if Kim Jong Un keeps
rattling his sabers and threatening the USA, he may not like the consequences. Reuters contributed to this report.