Re: Why aren't our sanctions against NK already maxed out?
International diplomacy, military doctrine, and common sense, all agree on the fact that it's not a good idea to back a nuclear armed dictator, into to tight of a corner.
But the last 2 years have seen a subtle shift in the attitude towards North Korea by the USA and South Korea. Until then, NK would do something provocative, like setting off some half assed underground nuclear firecracker, or shoot off a rocket over the sea of Japan, and negotiate some fuel-oil of lift of a few sanctions for stopping. Now they just ignore them if it's possible, and don't offer anything. Then they back down on their own accord.