North Korea is in bad shape. Since North and South Korea split back in 1948, North Korea has struggled to feed its people and provide opportunities for them. Their centralized economy has been a disaster. Its industrial base is obsolete, decrepit and crumbling from years of poor management. Its agricultural system has left the soil depleted and unproductive. Food donations from other countries have, for ten years, kept the North Korean people from starving to death.
Meanwhile, South Korea has thrived and become an economic power in the Pacific Rim supplying the world with vehicles, ships, heavy machinery, and inexpensive good-quality consumer electronics.
North Korea spent its meagre funds on its military and a nuclear weapons program even when its people were starving due to its failed agricultural system.
North Korea produces nothing the world wants.
The only bargaining chip the North Koreans have is their nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them. With nothing to trade, they can only threaten the rest of the world to get what they need to survive.
It's time for the North Korean Communists to face the facts. Their system has failed. It doesn't work. Their nation is bankrupt and can't feed its people. Game over. It's time to quit communism as an economic and political system and join the rest of the civilized world.
The alternative is for North Korea to become a thug nation, using its nuclear weapons to extort and rob their more successful neighbors. I can't believe that any national leader would want that for their nation.
That North and South Korea are competing as one team in the Olympics is a very hopeful sign. It shows that the two countries have common roots, common history, common culture, and can share a common future.
This can only happen if North Korea's leadership chooses to abandon its outmoded systems and, like Russian and China, accept capitalism and open North Korea to trade.
If anyone in P'yongyang reads this, I hope they'll take this note as a cold slap in the face. Wake up, Choson! It's time for the long nightmare to end!