I have to qualify my remarks by saying that I am someone that doesn't believe that we can work this out with the Norks, it is my belief that it has become time to affect a regime change in North Korea. By removing this one of the last festering sores of totalitarianism on this planet, that really contributes nothing to the world, we could help the North Korean people realize their own dreams of freedom.
And in fact, as most everyone knows, we have only signeda "cease fire" with the Norks, so we could really just reload and "go back to war" and get the job done.
My evidence for the fact that the Norks are a wart on the behind of the world? The CIA Factbook:
North Korea, one of the world's most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and shortages of spare parts. Large-scale military spending draws off resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. Industrial and power output have declined in parallel from pre-1990 levels. Oil exports--0.00 barrels per day, Natural Gas exports--none.
risking arrest, imprisonment, and deportation, tens of thousands of North Koreans cross into China to escape famine, economic privation, and political oppression.....North Korea does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government does not acknowledge the existence of human rights abuses in the country or recognize trafficking, either within the country or transnationally....for years, from the 1970s into the 2000s, citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea (DPRK), many of them diplomatic employees of the government, were apprehended abroad while trafficking in narcotics, including two in Turkey in December 2004; police investigations in Taiwan and Japan in recent years have linked North Korea to large illicit shipments of heroin and methamphetamine, including an attempt by the North Korean merchant ship Pong Su to deliver 150 kg of heroin to Australia in April 2003
And, as detailed very well by Uncle J, they do this in order to get something in return so that we will go back to ignoring them.
I am weary of the good countries of the world acting like the cavemen in North Korea are not lying to them when they bribe them with food, cash etc. It is like trying not use the word "bribe" when some thug drops by your store to tell you that he is there to collect for "protection." I say we just smash-cut to the end credits of this horrible and endless drama with about 100 (ish) Tomahawk missiles, (some of them nuclear tipped) being sent in response to this shelling of South Korean territory. We should target key leadership locations, key government centers, and key military centers of gravity (who I am certain would be at their posts), instead of a ship full of food aid. I think this would have the effect of allowing the Nork people the opportunity to seize their freedom and join the world as partner, and not continue on as the red headed step-child that is kept on a chain in the basement.
I think it is worth a try. And I think it might send the message to a few of the other bad actors in the world that this is not the way the world expects you to act and that aggression will not be tolerated.
And that the time for honoring themselves for this kind of activity will soon be at an end.