The great misconception about North Korea is our belief that its dictator/monarch is actually running things. He is definitely their symbol; he lives like a king, he gives the speeches and he is practically worshipped. But he does not run the country. North Korea is run by its military and its generals. They are the true power behind the throne while the monarch secretly dallies around like a playboy. Because generals are generally stupid on issues of economics and diplomacy, the country is regularly starving and it only knows how to use threats to get what it wants. It would be nice to see the North Korean people rise up against the generals and overthrow the military junta. One problem is one-third of the North Korean population is technically part of the military. Another problem is North Koreans are brainwashed with the most primitive and stone-aged form of propaganda (that only a military junta could devise) that the citizens don't even know which end is up.
I don't advocate war with North Korea. And I am an isolationist 99% of the time when it comes to military intervention. But their region (northwest Asia) is becoming more and more important economically and North Korea should be easy to overcome if we could focus more on espionage or in trying to foment some sort of revolution there. But the 21st-Century Orient has made it pretty clear that it does not really want our help anymore in the region since we tend to break everything we touch and since they don't really need us (except to keep buying what they make). My simple answer is we should use certain secret three-letter government agencies to stir up a revolution in North Korea if it can be done cheaply (I should note that we have historically not been very good at this). But if the Japanese, Chinese and South Koreans really don't want us there then we should continue to stay out of it. That sounds weak, but these countries have more money than we do.