We are at a very dangerous moment in the world. Let me be clear. It would be better if North Korea did not have nuclear weapons. It would also be better if the United States, Russia, Pakistan, India, France, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, and Iran did not have nuclear weapons. But they do [save for Iran, apparently], and there is no reliable defense against nuclear weapons, which means that mutual deterrence is our only hope for a world not devastated by them. There is nothing special about North Korea. It is just one more nation, the seventh by my count, that has chosen to invest money and effort in the old technology of deliverable nuclear weapons.
What can we do about North Korea? The same thing we can do about Israel or France or Russia, and the same thing they can do about us: we can make it clear that we do not challenge North Korea’s existence, and will respond to a nuclear attack with a nuclear response. This is called Mutual Assured Destruction, appropriately referred to as MAD.
Is there any way to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons? Inasmuch as I do not speak or read Korean [although one of my books has been translated into that language] and have never been, I believe, within a thousand miles of that nation, I have not a clue, but I would guess not, since if they were to do so, the United States might very well undertake to overthrow the ruling government.
At this moment, we are dependent on a trio of generals to manage and control the impulsive narcissistic child in the White House. That summarizes pretty succinctly the miserable state to which we have fallen.