Pyongyang's ruler, 30-year-old Kim Jong Un, said the tests are aimed at the United States. So it would seem. One does not build an ICBM to hit Seoul, 30 miles away.
Experts believe North Korea is still far from having the capability to marry a nuclear warhead to a missile that could hit the West Coast. But this seems to be Kim's goal.
Why is he obsessed with a nation half a world away?
America has never recognized his, his father's or his grandfather's regime. We have led the U.N. Security Council in imposing sanctions. We have 28,000 troops in the South and a defense treaty that will bring us into any war with the North from day one, and a U.S. general would assume overall command of U.S. and Republic of Korea troops.
We are South Korea's defense shield and deterrent against the North.
And while America cannot abdicate her responsibility and role in this crisis, we should be asking ourselves: Why is this our crisis in 2013?
President Eisenhower ended the Korean War 60 years ago. The Chinese armies in Korea went home. Twenty years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia abandoned communism and ceased to arm the North, and Mao's China gave up world revolution for state capitalism.
Epochal events. Yet U.S. troops still sit on the DMZ, just as their grandfathers did when this writer was still in high school.