North Korea is a problem, to be sure. There’s no doubt the people there are oppressed. Any country which has completely closed borders, you know they are oppressed. One, because they aren’t allowed to leave the country, and so there’s repression right there. Second, because you know the administration is worried about what would happen if those borders were open. Mass exodus? Probably. Third, if they can close their borders, they have free reign to oppress their people any way they want to. Who’s to know?
No easy options present themselves. Re-unification? Sure, they speak the same language, but there’s nothing in that for the government of the North. They lose all their power and become ‘the poor northern region of Korea.’ Also, just being crazy and paranoid, they’re not likely to go for it.
One thing I do know is that nuclear war (in fact, a conventional war) would be a disaster. People die in wars. No matter how oppressed people in North Korea are, I doubt they want to be bombed to death.
The way I see it, we need to leave this to the experts: The South Koreans, the Chinese, probably the Russians as they do actually have a bit of a land border in the icy lands of Eastern Siberia, maybe the Japanese, which would piss the North Koreans off no end, but they are a part of the region.
The U.S. shouldn’t even be at that table but, since they inevitably will, they would be well advised to listen to all other sides first. Including North Korea.