The position President Barack Obama's administration is taking toward North Korea would be laughable if it did not involve a threat to world peace.
U.S. officials are right to be concerned about North Korea in the wake of an internal purge by dictator Kim Jong Un.
Kim had his uncle, long considered the second-most powerful person in North Korea, executed, along with some of his aides. That may indicate an internal power struggle.
If so, it is possible Kim will consider action against South Korea as a way of solidifying his country behind him. That could mean war - and, because North Korea has nuclear weapons, it could be a bloody confrontation.
That possibility is being considered at the White House and the State Department.
So what strategy are U.S. officials pondering?
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters that Washington is focused on the need for North Korea to "denuclearize."
No, your eyes did not deceive you. The Obama administration thinks it can persuade Kim to get rid of his nuclear weapons.
There is virtually no chance of that happening, of course. Kim's nuclear arsenal is his key to bullying the West and occasionally getting economic aid. It also is part of the foundation of his domestic power.
Kim knows all this.
Clearly, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are delusional. Unfortunately - at least regarding his nuclear arsenal - Kim is not.