In the days since North Korea's purported nuclear test there has been considerable debate in the international community on what to do with the Kim regime. Since the collapse of six-party talks some years ago, North Korea has had effectively free rein over what it chose to do, how to pursue nuclear weapons, and methods to create fissile material for weapons.
North Korea is a regime of evil, it truly is. It has mastered the art of blackmailing its region (Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia), perfected the ability to make the US red in the face (pun intended), and puts the whole world closer to the brink. Why did we have to get this far? Saddam Hussein was never this provocative, yet the Bush administration saw it better fit to "American" interests to throw Hussein out and let the nation descend into a free for all of chaos with a total vacuum of power. The Clinton administration did a good job of keeping Iraq in check by committing daily acts of war through No Fly Zone patrols and starving the nation through a flawed program.
Well, not so good a job then, eh? All the same, Iraq didn't threaten the US the way North Korea does.
Why did we not go after the real source of policy headaches? We had been engaged in six-party talks in which we could have allied the other four parties (SK, JP, CN, and RU) against the Kim regime, but frequently the US found itself on the outside looking in. Was this a failure of American diplomacy?
Something needs to be done about North Korea five years ago.