The new dictator of North Korea has quickly dashed hopes and predictions that he would present a fresh new face to his country and neighbours. The idea he would bring a worldly, outward-looking view to his hermit nation has proved as false as a 4am dawn.
Mr Kim the Younger, recently turned 30, has already outdone his father, Kim Jong-il - known to North Koreans as "the Dear Leader", if they know what is good for them.
The dear leader was the driving force behind North Korea's nuclear weapons, but his son has turned them into reality. The dear leader dreamed North Korea would build intercontinental ballistic missiles, while Kim Jong-un has shown they can reach Bangkok and beyond.
There now is a credible fear that Mr Kim the Younger will actually attempt to outdo his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, known as "the Great Leader". Kim Il-sung started a ruinous war that destroyed much of his country and killed 2.5 million people. Thai troops alone suffered 913 men killed, missing and maimed among those who fought for the United Nations to defend South Korea. But the current dictator Kim could start a nuclear war, triggering a nuclear holocaust. He has been saying lately he wouldn't mind doing such a thing.
In the 16 months since the death of the dear leader, Kim Jong-un has turned his country from a fearful nation of gulags and poverty into a frightful nation of political prisons, borderline starvation and missile-borne nuclear weapons. Last week, he cut communications lines with South Korea which had taken decades to install, and declared that the "state of war" ended by the 1953 armistice agreement was on again.
There is quite a difference between this state of war and the way things were. A few months ago, North Korea had some tourists, was running a showpiece industrial zone in partnership with the South, was feeding the country, and exploring how to renew talks with its neighbours on nuclear weapons. Now, while South Korean experts judge the possibility of an attack to be highly unlikely, that is much worse than a couple of months ago, when there was no chance at all.
North Korea has always been unique. Today's combination of rhetoric and action make the country a real danger. It is far from clear why Mr Kim the Younger is doing all this. Pyongyang propaganda, always over the top and often risible, has berated the United States and South Korea for holding war games and "making bellicose statements". But these are nothing new.
Mr Kim deserves no special respect just because he threatens to start a nuclear war. Indeed, the countries that are trying to avert nuclear war are those which deserve respect - among them the US, China and Russia, all of which are attempting to deal with North Korea now. It is unthinkable that young Mr Kim would start a war of any kind. It is even more unthinkable that he or his regime would survive such a conflict.
As it always has been, Pyongyang's best option is to stop its rhetoric. Harm, if any, will be borne almost entirely by Mr Kim's dictatorship. The world is ready to welcome a civilised North Korea as a full partner. It should send Mr Kim that message as a matter of urgency.