The above video is by fellow academic blogger The Mad Sociologist, who tries in this video to provide some background–both historical and political–to the rising tensions and possibility of conflict between the United States and North Korea. The video originally appeared on his blog, here. It’s well worth the 25 minutes to deep-dive into the situation; so few Americans understand where this potential conflict came from and what’s at stake, so I think it’s great that he’s trying to supply some badly needed context.

Lately I’ve been doing some of my own investigation into Korean leader Kim Jung-un in an attempt to understand him and how he might deal with President Trump’s increasingly harsh statements. Contrary to the way he’s portrayed in the Western press, I don’t believe Kim is insane, irrational or some kind of megalomaniacal madman. North Korea’s policy, and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, is indeed quite rational. That doesn’t mean it’s right, moral or a good idea–North Korea is an awful regime and Kim has a lot to answer for–but he is not irrational.

The Mad Sociologist raises a lot of good points here. Let’s hope saner heads prevail and this crisis does not escalate into what it might easily become.

The header image is in the public domain. The video is the intellectual property of “The Mad Sociologist”; I am not the original uploader.