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Now We Have A North Korean Hostage Crisis

Allright, it's "only" two hostages, not 52.  But two female, Chinese-American ... Eunice Lee, and Laura Ling, were sentenced to twelve years' hard labor for spying "crimes" allegedly commited on the border of China and North Korea. Shades of Iran's seizure of the American embassy and staff in 1979.

The same North Korea "arrested" the U.S.S. Pueblo well outside North Korean territorial waters in 1968. Commander Lloyd Mark Bucher and 82 seamen were held hostage for nearly a year before finally being released.

North Korea has an incurable urge to play "the Mouse That Roared." (This was a story of a ficitious Mediterranean country that successfully "invaded" the United States, capturing the founder of America's nuclear program.) Unlike fiction, these are real acts that have real consequences (like the first Korean War; note the use of first.) 

That makes it a dangerous "fulcrum" in world affairs, because of its location in the "cockpit of Asia," between Russia, China, and Japan. So, too, does its "devil-ay-care" attitude. All these factors make Iran look "tame" by comparison.