The One Thing Trump and the Media Don't Get About Kim Jong Un, and Why it Should Terrify You

Donald Trump has been escalating his rhetoric war with North Korea and Kim Jong Un for days now -- culminating in today's warning of being "locked and loaded."

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While the media has expressed alarm at Trump's statements, pundits have also spent time urging calm, comparing this situation to others in which nuclear weapons are involved. Their argument is that in most cases, the concept of mutually assured destruction is something that deters all sides from acting.

And that is correct in general. Take Vladimir Putin, for example: Putin may not care about anyone except himself (and his wealth), but he knows that if nukes were to rain down on the Russian capital, he would die in "fire and fury." That would be the end of everything for him.

What Everyone Forgets About Kim Jong Un

But what Trump -- and the media -- don't get about Kim Jong Un is that he does NOT think that way.

Kim Jong Un was raised very differently from most other world leaders. Un was brought up in a totally closed environment that emphasized that he was God and ruler of all things.

Un has been taught from a very young age that he is untouchable. His handlers purposely cheat for him, ensuring that he gets holes in one at golf and can compose orchestras. But it's more than that. Here is the legend of his family's lineage from CBS:

Legend has it that a double rainbow and a glowing new star appeared in the heavens to herald the birth of Kim Jong Il, in 1942, on North Korea's cherished Baekdu Mountain. Soviet records, however, indicate he was born in the Siberian village of Vyatskoye, in 1941. The people of North Korea, many of whom are reportedly battling famine, are apparently told that Kim's birthday is celebrated throughout the world.

Now, Kim Jong Un is educated, and it's likely that he doesn't believe all of this. But nobody really knows how much he DOES believe. Given his environment, human psychology tells us that at some level, Un must believe he is God.

The question is: does Kim Jong Un believe that he can die? Or does he believe that his Godlike powers will ensure that he will live on even if North Korea burns?

If Un does think he's a real God, he won't act rationally in the event of escalated rhetoric. There will be a point at which he may think the end of his rule is imminent, and he may be willing to take action, thinking that he will survive regardless.

Therein lies the fundamental problem. If Un misunderstands his own mortality, this situation could erupt much more quickly than the media or Trump believe. So we may be much closer to nuclear war than anyone knows. And that should terrify all of us.

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