The threat being posed by the reclusive regime in North Korea continues to evolve, as their quest for thermonuclear weapons grows nearer to completion.
In the past 12 weeks, the hermit kingdom has enormous strides in their weapons technology programs, including the dual launches of the nation’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles, the detonation of what was likely a hydrogen bomb ten times as powerful as the atomic devices that ended World War II, and the possible miniaturization of their nuclear warheads to a size appropriate for missile delivery.
All the while, Kim Jong Un and his military have celebrating and threatening, with a particular focus on provoking the United States.
Of course, just 40 miles from the demilitarized zone that separates North Korea from South Korea sits Seoul, the capital of the latter Korea, and home to the 2018 Winter Olympics; an event that will likely be overshadowed by the looming threat to the north.
That threat, according to experts, could already be affecting ticket sales for the international contest.
“South Korea wants more than a million spectators for the Games that start in February and expects 70 percent to be locals. But if South Koreans are excited about the Games, they didn’t fully show it during the first phase of ticket sales between February and June — the 52,000 tickets purchased by locals during the period were less than 7 percent of the 750,000 seats organizers aim to sell domestically.
“International sales got off to a faster start with more than half of the targeted 320,000 seats sold. But now there’s fear that an increasingly belligerent North Korea, which has tested two ICBMs and its strongest ever nuclear bomb in recent weeks, might keep foreign fans away from Pyeongchang, a ski resort town about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the world’s most heavily armed border.
“South Korean Olympic organizers reopened online ticket sales on Sept. 5 and hope for a late surge in domestic ticket sales as the Games draw closer. Locals purchased nearly 17,000 tickets on the first two days of resumed sales.”
One hopeful sign is that North Korean athletes will be present at the games, likely negating any massive plans for retaliation by Kim and his goons.
Furthermore, an attack aimed at the Olympics would fail to target only the enemies of the North Korean state, and would certainly draw international attention to the ongoing poor behavior of the dainty dictator. In such a case, Kim would be forced to fend off pressure from a global alliance, backed by the United States; something that would undoubtedly cripple his ability to control his nation.