Maybe it's finally time to talk to Kim Jong Il about giving up his country's "frantic rush for nuclear weapons," said Marty Peretz in The New Republic. "I am a little loathe to let every criminal crank who runs a country assume that he might get a visit from Barack Obama. But, since the president has seen a few scummy heads of state already, I suppose there is no harm in him meeting this one who is truly a criminal and truly a crank."
North Korea's underground nuclear test this week proved that Obama's "charm and kindness offensive" gets us nowhere with tyrants, said Gary Bauer in Human Events. "Kim Jong Il, the North Korean psychotic known by his slaves as 'Dear Leader,' suffered a stroke last year, and his successful development of a nuclear bomb is a way to reassert his rule." Trying to sweet-talk him—or any enemy—only exposes us to greater danger.
Kim Jong Il and North Korea's ruling elite are "writhing" from the world's condemnation of their nuclear program, said Donald Kirk in the Los Angeles Times, so the situation is dangerous whatever we do. The question is what we "can do besides talk of 'consequences.'" The first step is to "strengthen sanctions" by getting Russia and China to threaten a halt to shipments of arms and military spare parts, along with food and fertilizer. That will get Kim Jong Il's attention.