Hey, all these guys, Kim Jong-un, Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, Mubarak, endless list, are not the nicest of human beings. But the West’s track record isn’t very good when we go mucking about with their countries. So other than direct massive military intervention what are our options?
Assassination/Capture — the capture of Noriega may have been the only recent example where the outright removal of a ‘bad guy’ leader may have worked. Otherwise, you’re likely to create a martyr.
Sanctions — these only hurt the rank and file, creating a siege mentality. There’s always someone willing to run the blockade and the population’s ire is easily turned against those entities that have created the blockade.
Technology — here’s where America is going to push hard in order to keep feeding the insatiable military industrial complex. If I had the extra money, I would be investing in the companies that create anti-ballistic missile systems. We won’t get Reagan’s Star Wars missile shield but we’ll get enough of a protection system to ‘guarantee’ that one or two North Korea ICBMs will be knocked down before reaching fortress America. Of course, South Korea, Japan, Canada, and the Europeans will be likely to sign on as the North Korean threat gets hyped. It’s the old chestnut of making sure there’s a handy enemy in order to substantiate the ludicrous amounts of money steered towards the American military. Buy stock in Lockheed!
Diplomacy — Kim Jong-un and his Chinese accomplices have effectively snookered the West. China plays the long game and has used the West’s lust for consumerism to fuel their economic and military engine. Coupled with their population, they will become the next world superpower that will in all likelihood, supplant America sooner than later. Sometimes, you have to hold your nose and do a deal with the Devil. Britain handed back Hong Kong trying to get as good a deal for the inhabitants but they knew China was only going to give insincere platitudes. Chamberlain did a deal with Hitler using Czechoslovakia as a bargaining chip and that things were going to be bad for the Jews. Canada and the US didn’t care about the Jews either as there were plenty of documented cases where they were turned from our shores. Hitler could have even kept Poland as the Allies didn’t react other than to declare war. As for North Korea, America has proven intransigent when it comes to being a loser. They failed in their attempt to invade Cuba and have IMHO bullied the nation for 50 plus years. The Korean War stalled out and there has been zero movement since 1953 other than to militarize out the wazoo. The South Koreans who would be most affected by reunification have been agitating for an end to the conflict. The stakes are higher than ever with millions of lives on the line. If the West genuinely cared for the Korean peninsula, they would start some hardcore negotiations. Maybe we could slow down the progress of Kim’s desire for a functioning nuclear tipped missile. He’ll still build one in order to have a trump card but the process to save the Koreans has to begin somewhere.