The seemingly never-ending drama that is North Korea's nuclear saber-rattling continued today with the totalitarian regime pointing one of its missiles up. The U.S. and South Korea believe its "highly likely" North Korea will launch a missile. The country has conducted three missile tests since Kim Jong Un took power about a year and a half ago. The U.S. announced last week it was deploying missile defense systems to Guam while Japan deployed Patriot missiles in Tokyo this week.
And what of China, North Korea's only real ally on the planet? The Chinese foreign ministry took umbrage to suggestions by American politicians it wasn't doing enough to restrain North Korean threats, saying its maintained a consistent position supporting peace, stability and dialogue on the peninsula. In fact, China's recent rhetoric would indicate the world's largest communist country's lost patience with its tiny neighbor. It would be practically impossible for North Korea to start a sustained conflict with South Korea (or 21st century Red Dawn style, with the U.S.) without the support of China, which is infinitely more interested in flexing its economic muscle than being sucked into North Korea's shenanigans, which could be helping the U.S.'s strategic stance in the region at the expense of China's.
Meanwhile, North Koreans in Pyongyang, which would get pummeled with bombs if the country started a war, appear more concerned with preparing for a national holiday on April 15th than the threat of war. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if the missile launch came on that day, the birthday of North Korea's founder, Kim il Sung, given the regime's penchant for symbolism and numerology.