An elderly North Korean man

An elderly North Korean man sits on the deck of a boat in the port of Sinuiju July 8, 2006. China and North Korea are separated by the Yalu River, upon which Chinese tourists take pleaure cruises across the water to observe their less economically developed neighbors.

I was deeply shocked by the demeanor and appearance of the young North Korean woman in the video link below. She seems utterly defeated and on the edge of death from starvation. Of course I am aware that starvation is endemic in North Korea, but seeing this rare video footage really brings it home:

I don’t have a solution to the problem of North Korea, which continues to pursue an insane nuclear armaments program even as starvation and poverty are rife, and which has possibly the worst human rights record in the world.

But I know that something must be done, and soon.

Two things occur to me. Whether they are realistic or not I do not know:

1. Immediate and intensive air strikes against North Korean nuclear facilities, with the goal of eradicating their nuclear capability.

2. A reunification offer that the North Korean leader cannot refuse. How about offering him the position of first president of the reunified republic, along with a huge financial incentive. He’ll walk away from it wealthy for life, and will go down in history as the “reunification leader”. That should appeal to his sense of vanity.

Of course he will no longer have the power to order people’s torture and deaths, and will no longer be venerated as a god. Maybe that will be a sticking point.