We've talked a great deal about the flinty risks that a nuclear-equipped North Korea would pose. Remember, this is a country that's sold so many missiles to Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and others that intelligence analysts nicknamed it "Missiles 'R' Us."
Against that backdrop, the Catch 22-style standoff that emerged at the regional forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) earlier this week would've been comical if the stakes weren't so high.
As it was, the scenario almost sounded like it had been scripted by "Catch 22" author Joseph Heller himself.
Here's what I mean.