North Korea says that any sanctions resulting from their recent missile test will constitute a declaration of war. These guys are just desperate for somebody—anybody—to declare war on them. Three months ago, North Korea believed that a declaration of war constituted a declaration of war. Then they said that any attempt to interfere with their missile launch would be a declaration of war. And now they say that if anybody reacts to the launch, that’s also a declaration of war.
What North Korea is saying is that they’d really, really like to be able to tell their citizens that somebody’s declared war on them. They’re like an unstable middle school bully, stalking from person to person, asking who’s “got a problem with me” and why “you’re looking at me.”
It seems unlikely that we—by which I mean the world—can negotiate our way out of an impending North Korea problem at this point. It’s certainly worth trying, but what’s more likely is that we’ll have to work around North Korea, determining from without how to solve the problem within. It’s a damned shame we blew our cred overthrowing Saddam Hussein—the DPRK is in far worse shape, and potentially much more dangerous, than Iraq was in 2003.