We laugh and compare North Korea to a child throwing a temper tantrum every few months when they're feeling ignored, but in all reality we really shouldn't be joking. Ever since Kim Jong-un took over after his father's death, the threats have only gotten worse, as if he has something to prove.
Yes, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea does have an army of loyal soldiers willing to die for their glorious leader and country, but in reality they aren't the bad guys.
The people of North Korea are just as innocent as any civilian over here, the only difference being they live under the rule of a merciless dictator.
It saddens me to read some of the reactions online, whether it's on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter, with the vocal majority hoping they nuke South Korea or one of our other allies in the region just so we can go in and nuke them into oblivion. Despite sometimes glorifying it in our culture, war is a terrible and horrible thing that no one should ever wish for.
And yet, we continue to joke about the most recent threats against the United States.
President Obama, along with the leaders of several nations, do nothing more than wag their fingers at Kim and scold him for his bad behavior.
Even China, North Korea's closest ally, is getting a little embarrassed by the unruly behavior coming from Kim.
The worst case scenario for China is the United States invades and brings freedom to North Korea, and in the end puts U.S. troops on China's border.
While North Korea isn't capable of long-range nuclear warheads yet, the results of their current missile program could be disastrous if ever executed.
The obvious choice would be a strike against South Korea, but they would still need to strike in the first place before we could have justification for intervening.
Kim is enjoying this attention, for he's taken this global game of chicken to a whole new level Kim Jong-il never did. The more brash the threats, the better he looks to his people when the response is nothing more than embargoes and U.N. sanctions.
It's almost the equivalent of being on double secret probation to the world, where the response has just been words and not bullets.
So next time you see a late-night comedian include a joke about North Korea in their monologue or see a meme online making fun of Kim's weight, just remember that a nuclear outcome is not going to make any nation look good.
The same 'nuke them all' attitude we somehow acquired while in the Middle East has unfortunately sprouted up once again, making things even more complicated this time around because all parties involved have access to these weapons of mass destruction.
Like the Arab Spring, the people of North Korea must rise-up against their leader and put a stop to things. Change must come from within, and if that means a coup backed by the United States, it's not like we haven't done them before.