Kim John Il currently lives in an official residence in Pyongyang. Saddam Hussein currently lives in a jail cell in Baghdad.
Why? Because Kim Jong Il had weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam Hussein didn't.
If you were the dictator of a medium-size country that doesn't get along with the U.S. Government, the lesson here should be obvious to you; your personal quality of life will be much better if you have WMD.
Jong Il and the physicists who work for him have made the world a more dangerous place to live. They have had plenty of help in this, however. Jong Il's comrades in China didn't do much to discourage him from this adventure. However, the Bush administration played right into his hands.
Bush can't really talk to Jong Il about the “court of public opinion” when Bush's foreign policy has been “we'll do what we want, and if you don't like it, too bad”. Bush also has no grounds to talk about violations of international agreements, since he has thumbed his nose at several of them, including the Geneva Convention, and, more pertinent to the North Korean situation, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty.
The breakage of the ABM treaty was a particularly stupid move on Bush's part, and he didn't get anywhere near the criticism he deserved for it. If any mainstream media reporters had bothered to actually read the ABM treaty, they would have learned that the treaty permits each party to set up one ABM installation. (The Nixon administration set one up, and it was shut down in 1978 because it was judged by Congress to be a useless waste of money.) So, if Bush had been truthful about his motive for continuing with ABM's (as in intercepting single missiles launched by rogue states such as North Korea), there would have been no need to abrogate the treaty. The abrogation made Russian President Vladimir Putin look bad, and this new problem with North Korea is exactly the sort of situation where The West needs the help of people like Putin.
So, how do we go about getting Jong Il to listen to reason? The United Nations would be the obvious organization to do it, but there we have another problem. The Neo-Con agenda has had the UN on the hit list ever since Reagan became President in 1981. Jong Il doesn't need to listen to the UN, because it doesn't have any clout. The reason it doesn't have any clout is because the Reagan and Bush Administrations have acted to weaken it.
Now, the fact is, there are a lot of problems with the United Nations. Anyone familiar with Gen. Romeo Dallaire's bad experience in Rwanda knows this. But if you hear anyone tell you that the UN should be put out of business, your first question should be, “what would you replace it with?” The Neo-Con answer to this question was, “everybody will just do what we tell them to.” We now see that this approach has failed, and it's a failure that is dangerous to all of us.
The foolishness of the Bush Administration has put us in a situation where we have to hope that the government of China will give Kim Jong Il a strong enough slap on the wrist so that he will stop testing nuclear bombs close to the North Korea-China border. We may get by this time, but we should hope that the next time a problem like this comes around (and it will), there will be more sensible people minding the store in Washington.