Most old North Korea hands have been of the opinion that the country was determined to build a war fighting capability with which to intimidate and dominate its neighbors.
A minority believed that this was not so and that the Korean program was largely designed as a bargaining chip in a larger diplomatic game. Looks like the second group were correct.
This should be an lesson to those who insist that diplomatic means will not be effective in dealing with Iran.
It should be a lesson but it will not be a lesson. The reason for that is that the lesson is not wanted.
In November or December of 2002, I took part in a town meeting in Lexington, Virginia on the subject of whether or not there would be war with Iraq. General Zinni and the dean of VMI were the other panelists. In that college town the audience was overwhelmingly anti-war.
At one point a panelist remarked that the discussion of this issue was enlightening but unproductive because on the issue, "the train had left the station."
I fear that a similar train has left the same station. My estimated time of arrival is...