Three years ago I stood next to North Korea.  I walked over a wooden bridge to a wire fence that delineated the border between North and South Korea. I peered over into the no-mans-land of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). I saw no soldiers, but they were there, somewhere in those hills and behind those trees. Not far from me, tourists milled about. A South Korean amusement park hummed with activity nearby; but within the scope of my sight, the might of North Korea’s army, the fourth largest in the world, was ready. It was hard to imagine that just a few miles away was the metropolis of Seoul and its 12 million souls. Days before I stood at this vantage point, North Korea had lobbed rockets on a small island nearby. The international community shrugged its shoulders at the insane actions of Kim Jong-il. Now we are faced with the possibility of nuclear warheads lobbed by his irrational son, Kim Jong Un.  The Korean war of the fifties killed 2.5 million people. This time a conflict on the Korean peninsula would be far more deadly.

I remember so well basking in the warm sun of that spring afternoon, thinking that I was standing on a spot that was just one irrational act away from unthinkable horror and bloodshed. I strained my eyes peering into the distance, wondering what telescopes were fixed on me as a target. It was surreal, but today, three years later, it is downright deadly. It has been 70 years since the world has seen a mushroom cloud of atomic proportions, but if the maniacal ruler of North Korea has his way, we could see it again.

Is it time for a surgical strike to knock out North Korean missiles before they sail toward Seoul or Tokyo? Perhaps. It certainly will do us no good to threaten more hollow sanctions.  Without any easy options for world governments, Christians need to realize that some kind of tribulation, if not the Great One, may lie around the corner.  This is not just one more international crisis. This is a big one.  And if Iran acts somehow in concert, we’re on our way to WW III.