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Stop Joking Around About the Death of Kim Jong Il, America

COMMENTARY | Kim Jong Il, dictatorial leader of North Korea, died on Dec., 17, according to the Associated Press. His death destabilizes the region since North Korea is a nuclear power and its new leader might try to prove how tough he is by committing an act of war. How are Americans taking the news? Apparently they are more concerned with trivialities and pop culture than they are about a possible nuclear attack.

Many Americans probably wouldn't even know who Kim was if not for the film "Team America: World Police." MSNBC reports the news of his death has sparked a renewed interest in the movie. Rather than being worried about who the dictator's successor might nuke, American citizens are nuking some popcorn to eat while re-watching the puppet-themed movie.

Are Americans concerned about the North Korean dictator's legacy? Maybe -- but not as much as they are concerned with the size of his DVD collection. Reelz.com, a film website, downplays the severity of the risk to the Asian region by focusing on the former leader's favorite actors and counting his 20,000-video library. Would it have been too much to ask that they just leave that situation alone?

How are people sharing their feelings about the death of this tyrant and the effects it caused politically and economically? Are they gathering at the water cooler to discuss the implications of a nuclear power under the control of an inexperienced new leader?

No, they're using Twitter to share goofy lines from "Team America: World Police." In fact, the movie title is at or near the top of the Twitter trending topics list, according to ABC. Mushroom clouds seem less important to Twitter users than ridiculing the former leader through his puppet in a movie.

It's sad to see just how little import some people place on the death of this world leader. His nation might not have been in our backyard, but it is one of global importance. The U.S. has 28,500 troops at the border between North Korea and South Korea, according to Reuters, so we have men and women within striking distance of the communist regime's nuclear arsenal.

It's time to stop seeing this event as a joke and take it seriously. It could impact the safety of American military personnel.