"If that results in the North starting a shooting war, so be it. The war would be over as fast as Desert Storm was in 1991. Maybe even quicker."
There is a term used today which describes a form of suicide. It is where someone goes up against a law enforcement officer, with no real intent of doing him or her harm. In fact sometime the person even has an unloaded gun. The sole purpose of the action is to fool the cop into thinking he is in a life threatening situation, and thereby causing the use of deadly force. It is a crappy situation. Everyone loses, especially the cop who had to use deadly force. He has to live with it. However this does happen. And today, I can see it happening on a much larger scale in world events.
Yes, I am talking about North Korea, and the loose canon who runs the joint. Kim Jong-un has now upped the ante towards war once again. Within the past six months, he has continuously poked the west (and the feckless UN) in the eye by 1) coming close to having a workable hydrogen bomb, 2) testing a solid fuel rocket, and 3) using the deadly VX to kill his half brother, Kim Jong Nam.
This past provocation was particularly troubling. The fact that the Norks have VX is like letting a mass murderer have a machine gun with unlimited ammunition. And North Korea (according to reports) has quite a bit of this witch's brew. How much? Tons. Enough to kill millions of people.
We have made it clear to North Korea (for decades now) that should they ever decide to use a nuke or any other bio or chemical WMD on South Korea, Japan, Australia, or even us - they are finished. For example, North Korea is rumored to have about 20 nuclear weapons. We have about 4,500. It has been told both subtlety and not so subtlety that should North Korea ever use a nuke in anger, we will turn the northern part of the Korean Peninsula into a sheet of glass.
Here is the weird part. Kim Jong-un knows it. If he starts a war, we will finish it -decisively and quickly. Colin Powell is rumored to have said (when he was still in uniform) that if North Korea ever started a war, North Korea would soon look like a "smoldering charcoal briquette".
So what motivates North Korea in it's pursuit of WMD? Heaven only knows. Are they suicidal? Maybe. If they are, it would be very similar to "death by cop" - and we are the cop. My vote has been very simple for a very long time. It is time we take the gloves off with this country. Short of a shooting war, we should embargo, blockade, sanction, or whatever else to force regime change.
If that results in the North starting a shooting war, so be it. The war would be over as fast as Desert Storm was in 1991. Maybe even quicker.