Much of the world regrets not stopping the Rwanda genocide in the early 1990s and say they'd act differently if another took place. One took place in North Korea--and still takes place in many ways--and nobody did anything about those who did the killing. (Tip to Instapundit) Why?
So what is the reason for the silence surrounding North Korea? It comes down to two things: First, the North Korean state is a much more sophisticated genocidaire than the Hutu militias armed with machetes were, and second, this mass killer has nuclear arms. So in 1994, while millions of North Koreans were starving to death throughout the rural areas and within the prisons of North Korea, the only action the U.S. was found to have taken was to sign an agreement with a genocidal despot called the Agreed Framework, which promised North Korea oil and other forms of developmental assistance in exchange for the dismantlement of nuclear plants producing weapons-grade plutonium.
Nuclear arms are the reason North Korea is immune? Don't be silly. One, North Korea does not have nuclear arms today, let alone in 1994. At best, the North Koreans have a nuclear device that can be detonated in laboratory conditions with large science crews babying the device through he detonation sequence--not a warhead capable of being fired by your basic military crew.
If it was nuclear weapons that made North Korea immune to international criticism--let alone action--explain Israel to me? Shouldn't the international community tremble with the thought of condemning Israel--for the Nth time--for some trumped up BS charge? Israel is commonly said to have up to 500 nuclear warheads. I suspect that the number is fewer than 100, but why would Israel object to seeming to be on par with France, Britain, and China--and exceeding the arsenals of Pakistan and India?
But no, regardless of how many nukes Israel has, Israel receives no immunity from repeated condemnation and isolation because nobody believes Israel will actually use those nukes except as a retaliatory nuclear strike.
Still don't believe me? Hamas just rained rockets on Israeli civilians without worrying that Israel would use just a single nuke to teach the attackers to just leave them alone. Heck, Hamas didn't worry that Israel would carpet bomb and shell Gaza City with conventional explosives the way North Korea could level Seoul, South Korea.
So why is North Korea tolerated? It isn't just their ability to turn Seoul into a "sea of fire" as Pyongyang has repeatedly threatened. Yes, Seoul is within range of North Korean artillery just across the DMZ. But while this is reason for South Korea to be cautious, and even Japan and America as their allies, why would the rest of the world care that much to be cautious?
Heck, North Korea can't do much more than bombard Seoul. Their conventional military has eroded so much that it would take a near-act of God for an invasion of South Korea to succeed, at this point. In contrast, Israel could defeat any combination of neighbors in a conventional war. Yet Israel is isolated and North Korea is cautiously courted.
It can't even be that individuals are afraid that the criminal regime of North Korea will kill them if they condemn North Korea. Israel is certainly not shy about reaching out and killing actual individual enemies abroad. Yet Israel gets the condemnation and North Korea gets the periodic outreaches to see if they've changed their mind about being a psychotic regime.
I suspect it is much more basic. Israel is a Western state that is pro-American and North Korea is a despotism that is anti-American.
The former is to be condemned, abused, and fought.
The latter is a reflection of "authentic" Third World identity and is to be sustained and applauded.
Even killing their own people is not enough to decisively change the view of North Korea by much of the world's elites. Oh, they'll admit it isn't quite right. But they'll never then take action against the regime.
Nukes just make terrible regimes more terrible. It doesn't explain why the world tolerates them and quietly cheers when they defy a superpower, even if that "defiance" includes genocide.
You can see why the world's opinion of America means so little to me. If they liked us, I'd worry about what we were doing wrong.