North Korea has been in the news a lot lately. Between the election of a new American president who is incapable of making measured comments or rational decisions and North Korea’s continued efforts to build a nuclear weapon and missile system capable of reaching the US, it feels like we’ve reached a new and particularly dangerous time in how we deal with that country.
Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down among many excellent books) wrote this long piece about the state of the relationship and our options, both diplomatic and military.
The tl;dr summary is that there are no good options. Perhaps the best option is to just let them go and hope that, as crazy as the North Korean leadership is, they are still more interested in surviving than anything else. All the experts seem to agree that should North Korea launch a nuclear attack against the US, or Seoul or Tokyo, their country would be wiped off the face of the earth within the hour. They may be nutjobs, but the argument suggests that they aren’t so insane that they would trade one city of their enemies for their entire existence.
I hope that view is right. Regardless, this is a very informative read.