The world needs to pay attention

At some point, the international laughingstock might just become a serious threat, and the world needs to start paying attention.

For far too long, North Korea has been able to make threats about its capabilities and for far too long analysts in the West have given token notice or outright dismissal of any claims from the mysterious nation.

Yet, while the West looks on the dictators of North Korea as some kind of cartoonish parody of a ruling class, a curious thing has been happening: North Korea has been advancing in scientific capabilities.

It’s not just making claims, it’s doing something.

While analysts were quick to proclaim that North Korea was boasting a bit too much about detonating a hydrogen bomb a couple of weeks ago, the fact is it detonated something that could level much of a city in the West.

While analysts are quick to point out that the technology to launch a space satellite is different from that needed to build and successfully launch and use an intercontinental ballistic missile, the fact is that North Korea, that international laughingstock, has two satellites in space.

The fact is that the latest satellite passed directly over the stadium after the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The Soviet Union started with the simple beep of Sputnik in the 1950s and nearly made it to the Moon ahead of the United States, but for a launchpad disaster of enormous proportions just a couple weeks before Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface.

South Korea is correct to respond when the saber is rattled by the North. Lives have been lost since the cease fire in the Korean War, and the tension has ebbed and flowed over the years.

If the laughingstock north is indeed ruled by the madmen the West proclaims while laughing, it is indeed possible that something horrible could happen.

It is up to the West to do what it must to support South Korea to halt the North’s continual scientific advancements, be it more sanctions (which don’t seem to work) or an outright naval blockade.

Madmen, after all, sometimes get capabilities that cause others to stand up and pay attention.