Negotiations failed once in Munich many years ago. That does not mean negotiating with an authoritarian regime is forever destined to be a horrible mistake. The time is right to negotiate. Why? Because we are in a position of great strength, and NK is in a position of great weakness. We can get the best deal if we negotiate now.
Yes, Kim Jong Il is on the defensive now. He sees the world allying against him, and his rhetoric is becoming more heated, and more desperate. I mean, the guy is talking about going to war with the United States. That indicates one of two things. Either he is insane, which I dont believe he is. Or he realizes that he is in a position of great weakness right now, and he is trying to appear strong. I'm quite sure that he has read his Sun Tzu. Given that even China and Russia are lining up against him, I'd say it is very likely that Kim is quite nervous right now, and if he hasn't already, he will soon realize he's made a big mistake.
And that is our great opportunity. Someone that is on the defensive simply will not come out and ask for reconciliation. They would fear making obvious the true weakness of their position. However, someone on the defensive will eagerly take an outstretched hand. We need to offer Kim an honorable out from this crisis. We need to give him a way to stand down without looking weak. We should negotiate, because we're in about as strong of a position now as we ever will be - the entire world behind us. We have all the cards. We should play them.
And if Kim slaps our hand away, or if he does turn out to be insane, and picks a fight with the United States, what have we lost? Only the moral low ground.