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Grave international concerns

Threatening behaviour: this photo distributed by the North Korean government shows missiles launched during a drill at an undisclosed location (Photograph by AP)

On a beautiful day here in Bermuda, with our colourful foliage, singing birds, and watching children at play, it is almost unthinkable that somewhere else on our planet, weapons are being developed that once used, could change the state of life on earth, with unimaginable suffering throughout the globe. Impossible some might say, but the grim reality is that weapons are not made to be placed in museums.

The testing of a nuclear device by North Korea, which at first was thought to be an earthquake, has rattled the nerves of many nations including America, as North Korea inches towards having the capability of carrying out a missile attack, with a nuclear warhead attached, even as far away as the United States.

What to do about the threat remains a question yet to be answered. The Pentagon, which is the nerve centre for military activity involving America’s armed forces, is said to be deeply concerned about recent developments as North Korea snubs its nose at the West, despite sanctions imposed for refusing to comply with international efforts to reduce and perhaps eliminate such deadly weapons.

North Korea under its present leader Kim Jong-un, has no reputation for behaving in a manner that most free nations would deem as meeting expected world standards for justice and freedom. There have been countless reports of executions of top officials there, for even hinting at opposing views about how the country should be run.

The most recent execution of a top official was said to have taken place as a result of his falling asleep during a speech by Kim Jong-un. After he had his uncle executed for stepping out of line, there is no telling how far this dictator would go to avenge those he considers his enemy. America is on that list.

To get some idea of the fanaticism of a dangerous leader, one can simply observe how his troops respond to any remark or appearance he makes. No soldier wants to be seen as the first person to stop clapping. That might be a death sentence, for not displaying total commitment to the leader.

Strange, but you can see it for yourself, whenever Kim Jong-un makes an appearance. South Korea, which is an ally of the West, is constantly on edge over the possibility that one day North Korea might lose its cool, and unleash the unthinkable.

Those who remember the Korean War in the 1950s when the north invaded the south, causing massive damage and casualties, until the Allied Forces led by the US, under General Douglas McArthur, turned the tide, will also remember the heavy price paid for victory.

Since that time, North Korea has become a power again through devious methods of crushing resistance with brutal tactics that have kept segments of their population as prisoners in their own land.

The dictatorial government instituted a regime where dissent is punishable by death. For those unfamiliar with such a system, this would seem as some type of Hollywood horror film. That would at least provide an opportunity not to watch it. Sadly in real life, hard facts cannot be ignored.

It also remains to be seen what effects this latest development will have on the current heated controversial campaigns to elect the next president of the United States. While there are mixed views both in America, and around the world, as to which candidate — Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton — would be best suited to handle an international crisis, the polls at the moment give Clinton a slight edge.

The world still has deeply troubled spots such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where people are being killed daily through opposing regimes, with little sign that things will change soon. Even with the memory 15 years ago of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American soil that killed thousands, the potential for something similar is never out of mind.

This is why the latest event in North Korea has the world taking another look at what is going on in that country to determine what, if any steps, can be taken to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. Here on a beautiful island in the Atlantic all this might seem irrelevant and unimportant.

That is, until we realise that the world is so interconnected today, that events anywhere could affect people many thousands of miles away. No one wants to dwell on subjects that detract us from focusing on the beautiful things of life.

That is good because we must believe that good will triumph over evil, no matter how long it takes.

Meanwhile, we have children playing, birds singing and gentle waves embracing our peaceful shores. We can only hope the world for those children will be without the growing threat of the violence that today in some countries continues to keep many wondering if peace for all, will ever be possible.

Only time will tell.