North Korea's population is starving and literally stunted, but they've got nukes:
The United States and two key Asian allies discussed how to increase pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear program and will urge China to help bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table, officials said.
Pity that 1994 Agreed Framework two decades ago didn't work to keep North Korea non-nuclear.
North Korea is a tough problem. It is hard to be too forceful against North Korea because North Korea has the ability to inflict a lot of death and damage on Seoul with conventional firepower within range of South Korea's largest city.
And that is without using chemical weapons that North Korea has.
Further, we're a bit insulated from North Korean nukes with distance and missile defenses. Regional allies who perhaps rein us in a bit on dealing with Pyongyang are on the front line.
Also, as nuts as the North Korean regime is, there aren't dedicated Kimmists around the world ready to rally to North Korea's cause.
Oh sure, there are fanboys from wealthy families on college campuses (and faculty lounges, by now), but they aren't foot soldier types. They're trust fund communists.
So I do think that containment is the best policy until they collapse. As long as they are contained, their conventional military options will deteriorate.
Another problem is whether North Korea proliferates nuclear weapons or technology to produce them. Iran comes to mind:
An exiled Iranian opposition group said on Thursday a delegation of North Korean experts in nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles visited a military site near Tehran in April amid talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.
That's a real problem (and it could be far worse, really) apart from the danger of a fairly pointless North Korean nuclear arsenal designed to deter an invasion we have no plans to initiate. Seriously, "nation-building" doesn't begin to describe what must be done to that corpse with a UN seat.
I had hoped the collapse would come before nuclear weapons, so we're getting darned close here, but as long as North Korea collapses, that's better than a preemptive strike on North Korea's nuclear facilities.