"Our glorious scientists have successfully constructed a Death Star that represents the hopes and dreams of the Korean people to leave the entire planet a sea of justified flame," the Democratic People's Republic announced today. "We will destroy without mercy the stronghold of the aggressors, which happens to be the planet Earth."
US sources dismissed the threat, saying the North Koreans were "years away" from being able to blow up the entire planet, "even though they obviously want to." A spokesman for the State Department, when interviewed, was happy to amplify.
"Just typical North Korean bellicose rhetoric. Few people realize that in Korean, 'Death Star' is translated as 'starvation sphere,' which is how ordinary North Koreans refer to their country anyway. It's true that the North Koreans have a few, primitive, Death-Star-like weapons, but they are not large or powerful enough to blow up the planet. Analysts with the Defense Department refer to them as 'Death Buses' or at most, 'Death Winnebagos.' Even if the North Koreans successfully built an operational Death Star, they have no way of launching it into space. Rest assured, the US is far ahead of North Korea in Death Star technology. We will be able to destroy the planet long before the North Koreans are capable of it."
That's reassuring, I guess, but why would we want to blow up the planet anyway?
"There is that as well. North Korea is far more motivated to demolish Earth, because it is full of other nations that make it look bad, and almost none that make it look good. This is a country that can only afford to nourish one overweight person, for example, and although his face is constantly in the news, they must surely be humiliated when they realize that there are more fat kids in one middle school in the US than North Korea has ever produced."
That's an interesting standard of comparison. Do you think the North Koreans realize they would be obliterating their own nation along with the rest of the world?
"I expect it's occurred to them. They're rational actors, after all. But I wouldn't discount the possibility entirely. The place is a hell-hole anyway, and a nice Death Star would have living quarters for all the most important North Koreans—Death Stars are quite roomy, you know."
What would they do? Wouldn't they get bored, without any famines or concentration camps to preside over or neighboring people to attack?
"There is a distinct possibility that they would just go on destroying planets. The next one over is Mars, and the North Koreans have already complained that it is full of 'colonialist, hegemonic robotic probes.' After that, the rest of the solar system and then just head out into the galaxy, I expect. Eventually they'll run into some advanced aliens with even bigger death rays that will turn them into a bloody interstellar mist, I would think."
Too bad we don't know anybody like that now.
"Hell, yeah. Could save us tons of trouble."