Short Samsung, Hyundai due to proximity of Kim Jong-un
Launch by Kim Jong-un to prove his status and gain respect
Appraisal of DPRK Kim Jong-un willingness to initiate launch.
History of KJu - not much known but what is confirmed is that he went to formal school in Switzerland. . Reports claimed he attended the private English-language "International School" in Gümligen near Bern under the name "Chol-pak" or "Pak-chol" from 1993 until 1998. No proof but appears he didn't do well. Some reports put him there as early as 1991, some as late as 2000. Most analysts agree that Kim Jong-un attended Kim Il-sung University, a leading officer-training school in Pyongyang from 2002 to 2007.
Assessment - allowed to party Dad style while taking a long time to do not so great. Comes home, Dad says I want you to go to military school now, priming him for assuming the upcoming role, having already picked him over two brothers (Kim Jong-nam shaming father by being busted at Tokyo in 2001 for forged passport, Kim Jong-ul thought to be sissyish), for succession. KJu goes to mil. school and learns the ways of the family thought process and core beliefs. Look at the timelines. Understand the machismo behind the decision. Understand the thought process behind the ideology of the DPRK leadership of generations.
History of KJu appointments -
27 September 2010 / General , no military experience except school
28 September 2010 / vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party
Around January 2011, close to 200 protégés of both Jang Sung-taek and O Kuk-ryol were by either detention or execution eliminate to prevent competition.
Assessment - KJu watches as friends and even relatives are delineated. As a young man this had to have been either troubling or an overwhelming feeling of power. Which do you think he experienced?
He has been allowed to a position that is seen in their world as "supreme" in such little time for doing so little other than to emulate his father. While the world hoped that he would follow a different footstep than his father, has he? Does it appear that he's an even more unstable proponent of his father's doctrine?
As his father was lavish and extravagant during a time of hunger in his country, did it appear his people complained or was it deserving of a "supreme" one? On to the next facet of this appraisal.
History and mindset of the DPRK - to keep it simple, the two Koreas are only in a truce that can be deemed null and void at any time by either side. While the south has moved on to become an industrious people and society, the north has remained pretty much the same and feels isolated and either bullied or paranoid that the world is out to get them. Their doctrine of self reliance may have been their undoing.
Numerous attempts have been attempted at reuniting but have always come upon a snag. The border has been there the whole time to remind people of the underlying tension and animosity. Both sides have always had a bigger brother but even those tensions have eased as world trade was recognized by the two as vital. Yet so live the two brothers at the lower level, almost like siblings with rivalry and jealousy. Now big brother is saying to littler brother, hey, it's time to knock it off. How does the jealous little brother respond now? Is he even more slighted? Will this be the equivalent of a spanking that will send him over the edge to get "some respect"?
Possible scenarios - too numerous due to the current rhetoric but I will try to give some of the more likely ones.
NK launches nuke on SK, Guam or other friends of ours, U.S. launches nuke on NK - strikethrough due to proximity of NK to other populous regions that include China, Russia, Japan and NK. Go to a map service, look up Pyongyang and expand standard scale to 200 miles. Fallout could maximize collateral damage and right now that would only make us a target for the world. Think about how it would unite those who disagree with the main terror organizations that make us out to be cold-blooded murders and how many new sponsors would be created. If it gets to that scale, it may be a fight that will never be resolved within our means. KJu decides to do nothing - it appears that with certain appointments, KJu was approved of by the military after he was already accepted by the nation. There is more pressure than probably realized by the outside world from the military to "prove" his worthiness.
This really leaves little more than two likely scenarios...
The U.S., China, Russia (who are dealing with Assat) and other asian nations find a way for KJu (realizing he has more than just ego at stake here) to save face and participate in talks to quell the situation. This would be assuming that KJu is not losing it and thinking about proving the world wrong about him. Will it be military university schooling that shows him the ultimate outcome or is that school so steep in the Korean sentiment that it told him there would be a possible positive outcome of this standoff that he's created?
KJu decides to launch a missile, whether it be by deception or otherwise, maybe pure bravado. A few possible launch scenarios... He decides to show he is not to be dealt with lightly, he launches a non-nuclear weapon on a sparsely populated area so as to cause minimal loss of life, yet enough to be taken seriously as the "supreme" one he is.
We can not dismiss the 46 deaths from the sinking of the Cheonan or the bombardment of Yeonpyeong. While there is no culpability for the Cheonan, he can not deny the bombardment of Yeonpyeong. It shows there is no problem with loss of life in his eyes.
He could also decide to send off a larger missile with no intent, just to see what our defense shields are capable of, then send one off in another direction, preferably more lower to the ground to prevent interception, thereby testing his ability to evade our defense works. If met with failure, it could end up being a continued attempt until he has success or he is eliminated. Even if he is eliminated, could the military jump into the drivers seat?
Understand the culture we are dealing with here. China, even though displeased with the situation has not outright condemned NK. NK feels it can hold hostage the world community. Maybe in his eyes, since he has warned for even embassies to leave, he has given ample warning...
This week marks the celebration of Kim Il-sung (grandfather of KJu and founder of DPRK). With recent history still fresh and these startling similarities, (Kim Il Sung started the Korean War in his thirties. Kim Jong Il planned the axe murders in his thirties. Kim Jong Un is even younger and already has Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island and has stood defiantly in the face of the world, including it's longtime ally, China) it may only look like one upmanship but isn't it possible that the youngest Kim may see this as the time to end the perceived "oppression" the world has kept on NK?
Kju is also being made fun of by not only the western world but his own corner of the universe as well. He's referred to as The Kid, Fatty, Fatty the 3rd and Fool in China. With all of the entitlement of an undeserving coddled child, is it possible that this might be enough to make him launch, even if only somewhat benign, to prove he is to be reckoned with?
Kim Jong-un has made what may be a final offer, possibly to save face or possibly what he sees as a final warning after having been relatively quiet for a while (approx. 3 days). His offer is to talk if all sanctions are lifted.
What I see possible in Kim Jong-un is that his lineage characteristics may be a catalyst to escalate this situation. He possibly listened to Grandpa talk ill of Americans and being somewhat repressed by China, being kept in check, pair that with possibly a desire to finally set what's been wrong for so long
I am not a professor or world scholar, I'm a trader and this is only my opinion of what is possible. What's yours? This being my first post, I am sure I have made typos and a few errors. Please have compassion for my awkwardness.