Step 1 – Have a bad guy
There is of course no guarantee that an attempt on Kim Jung Un’s life wasn’t made, however in this case it is more likely a way of setting up the justification for any and all future military action by N Korea. You have probably also considered that Kim Jung Un’s inner circle might have staged the attempt in an effort to make Kim fearful, angry and more dependent on them. For a moment lets put the full blown conspiracy theories aside and let’s assume that N Korea’s leader needs to have an enemy to justify his continued development of nuclear weapons.
We forget that N Korea suffered 1.5 Million + Causalities
The Korean war was a bloody one with an estimated 2.5 million deaths. A little bit of quick history; Korea was for many years owned and controlled by the Japanese, the Russians moved in to liberate Korea; China and Russia sided with North Korea & the US and a few of the usual allies sided with S Korea. The war that ensued was very much a proxy war between Russia and the United States. What is often missed in this little story is that Russia liberated N Korea because of their alliance with the US against Japan. Yes many of us often forget that the US & Russia worked together in WW2 to fight Nazi Germany and Japan.
To be clear, it is pretty hard for America to come across as the good guy in North Korea. When you go to war and lose over 1.5 Million people to your opponents you don’t easily forgive and forget. More importantly it is clear that whilst the rest of the world moved on; N Korea did not. In all fairness, heavy sanctions did make it harder for the economy and thus the people of N Korea to claw their way out of poverty. Comments about North Koreans starving and living in poverty due to a maniacal leader tend to lose their strength when we consider that the western world has ensured that it would be very hard for North Korea to recover economically.