This being the election cycle, a few obligatory quotes as to how this shows the difference between the candidates are inevitable. From those quotes, I provide you with this howler from former Secretary of State and current Kerry adviser Madeline Albright.
"They get the wrong message out of Iraq. You know, we invade countries that don't have nuclear weapons and we don't invade those that do,"
Hmm, does that mean that North Korea has access to weapons that could be used as a military deterrent? Does that mean that if we attacked North Korea they could use one bomb and kill as many soldiers in two or three milliseconds as have died over the past 18 months in Iraq? Or perhaps they would take out the millions of people living in Seoul?
Tactically speaking, Korean nukes would be much more effective than nukes in Iraq. North Korea is very mountainous and large numbers of the United States armored forces would have to be concentrated at mountain passes and railheads, whereas the flat desert terrain in Iraq was a tanker's dream.
I just find it curious that the people who complain about Bush not following through with his convictions of forcibly removing threats to the US are the same ones who accuse him of lacking "nuance". This time here, it is more of the right tool for the right job. In this case, diplomacy is the best though not necesarily good choice. At least we don't have Madeline Albright leading the talks.