North Korea: Maybe if we ignore the problem it will go away
Gavin Atkins is right, North Korea is no joke. We're the joke. We shrug our shoulders and look the other way as a maniacal hereditary dictator does whatever he has to do to cling to power. This has been going on for years, or course. But now that Kim Jong Il has nuclear weapons he threatens not just his own people, he's a threat to the whole region and possibly farther afield. The overt danger is that of nuclear attack. Apparently lacking a reliable delivery system this danger has not yet materialised. There is an immediate covert danger, however: North Korea could sell or freely distribute nuclear weapons technology. Now doesn't this prospect make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
What's to be done and who's going to do it? The United nations, that endless international committee meeting, will do nothing other than hector and most times doesn't even do that. China could easily topple the little Stalinist runt but seems to like living next door to country that makes it look benign in comparison. That leaves Uncle Sam with the problem. But what can the US do? There's no way it can attack North Korea. So it looks like the North Korea problem will remain in the "too hard" basket indefinitely and we'll continue to deplore the situation while shrugging our shoulders asking "what can we do?" Sadly, any future decision to do something about the North Korea problem could be very painful indeed.
Perhaps what we need is a someone like submarine captain Bart Mancuso, who famously said, "Now if that bastard so much as twitches, I'm going to blow him straight to Mars." Problem solved.