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North Korea, Kim Jong Un and the Chicago Way

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There are many complicated theories on what to do about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

He's that crazy little fat guy with nukes and daddy issues who wants to strap his thermonuclear devices to long-range missiles that just might start World War III.


Thermonuclear war tends to bother many people of many nations, and multilayered theories abound. My theory is not complicated. It's simple.

And it involves the Chicago way.

Nobody may want to talk about my theory. But if you hear of a Kim Jong Un dead pool, you might place a few bets.

Just please don't get the idea that I'm advocating harm to another human being, even if it's a madman who tortures people and has nukes. That would be insensitive. And I don't want my newspaper's emails to be hacked, as happened to Sony Pictures after it made the movie "The Interview," a comedy starring James Franco, Seth Rogen and a guy who looked very much like Kim Jong Un.

My favorite part was when the Kim Jong Un character and Franco sang Katy Perry songs together, including the big hit, "Firework."

"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag/ Drifting through the wind/ Waiting to start again."

That scene was so touching, and the Kim Jong Un character was so vulnerable and needy, I felt like giving him a hug. But North Korea was so upset at the plot -- Kim Jong Un dies in the end -- they allegedly hacked into Sony's email and started all kinds of rumors about movie executives.

North Korea denied all this, but you never want to provoke a crazy little fat guy with nukes.

And unlike my Kim Jong Un Chicago way theory, other theories out there are indeed sober and thoughtful.


Will his trusted nuclear friends, like Iran, get involved and tell him to cool it until they're all ready? Or will China play the stern father to North Korea's crazy little fat guy and resolve the situation?

Kim tried a missile test the other day, worrying the world. That test fizzled, and fizzling is extremely embarrassing to crazy dictators. Fizzling tends to trigger them.

"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis," his vice foreign minister, Han Song-ryol told the BBC in an interview. The minister also mentioned that "all-out war" would occur if the U.S. takes any military measures against the Hermit kingdom.

Regular missile tests of long-range North Korean missiles? It doesn't sound prudent, and Trump, as usual, declined comment.

"We'll see what happens," he told Fox News. "I don't want to comment on it."

Well, Trump was asked, what happens if North Korea launches another missile test?

"We'll find out," Trump said ominously, and then raised his eyebrows.

I suppose Kim Jong Un can make a public announcement and give up his nukes. But that means he'll give up power, and his Hermit kingdom will be no more.

That would also mean that his life of torturing his people and devising complicated executions and killings -- including the time his spies allegedly sprayed poison in his half-brother's face -- would be without meaning.


Or he'll just keep testing his missiles until they work, and then we'll see.

The trouble with theories involving "diplomacy" and the interests of "nation states" is that they're all so dang complicated.

So please consider the 14th century monk named William of Ockham, a famed philosopher who to my knowledge never spent time in Chicago.

But he did develop a method for dealing with complicated theories. It became known as Occam's razor, and it goes like this:

If you're faced with a choice between various complicated explanations, choose the one that is most simple.

There are many ways to deal with Kim Jong Un. But the simplest way is the Chicago way.

Some general or trusted friend will meet him, and they'll talk and laugh, maybe joke about devilish tortures, or amazing executions of traitors or some other similar interests.

Perhaps they'll talk of unleashing ravenous hounds, "Game of Thrones" style, which he has said to have once done to do away with his uncle -- although that's been denied too -- or the time he reportedly staked a general to the ground and plopped mortar rounds upon the guy.

Then they'll have a final good laugh. After the laugh, there will be a sigh.

And months later, we might find out that Kim Jong Un has taken ill, but a new leader has emerged in North Korea, one expressing North Korea's independence, yet a leader quite appreciative of China's economic concerns and China's friendship.


All this reminds me, oddly enough, of the time when Chicago gangster Anthony "The Hatchet" Chiaramonti came out of prison and claimed the title of Chicago Outfit boss.

Like Kim Jong Un, the Hatchet talked a lot of crazy talk. He made a lot of threats. But he threatened other Outfit bosses.

Legend has it that he told them it was time to stop babysitting Chicago politicians and become real, old-time gangsters once again. The others nodded in solemn agreement. No one said anything about his crazy talk threatening their economic concerns.

And then, a few months later, the Hatchet visited a Brown's Fried Chicken for another meeting. He parked his blue BMW near a sign that said the food was tasty "The Chicago Way."

It happened in the vestibule. The Hatchet didn't have time to sigh.

And outside, I'd like to think there was a plastic bag, drifting through the wind.

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