Remember President Bush? He's the guy who invaded Iraq because we "know they have nucular (sic) weapons" when they didn't? This is the man who says he will champion diplomacy with North Korea because the other option is military. Interesting, no?
North Korea recently said that VP Dick Cheney is a "bloodthirsty beast," and is using his comments that the Dear Leader, General Kim Chong-Il is irresponsible as a reason to stall in the 6 party talks that have been stalling for eons. "What Cheney uttered at a time when the issue of the six-party talks is high on the agenda is little short of telling (North Korea) not to come out for the talks," an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, according to what I picked up Here. This country is like a 5 year old who doesn't want to go to bed. They will pretend to do what you want, and then, right when you think they're behaving, there they are in the playroom with their toy rockets; only, in this case, the rockets aren't toys.
If we're so deadset on diplomacy, as we have been with other countries that have called us the enemy by name, then perhaps we need to use a little, uh, persuasive diplomacy, to get them to talk... Perhaps they'll understand something a little more persuasive than us giving them gas and food (thanks a lot, Bill).
Of course, North Korea is different than Iraq. They believe in their leader religiously, and because of that, they are willing to die to protect their utopia. Plus, the country is largely mountainous, with caves everywhere. It would not be a conventional war whatsoever. And then, of course, there's the problem with China. If North Korea attacks first, China doesn't get involved, but if we, or the ROK, or whoever, attacks first, then China will view it as a threat and would likely come to the aid.
Things aren't going to change in East Asia. We have too much at stake in China, South Korea, and Japan's economies to risk a war that would kill any of their markets. We'll probably keep saying nice doggy and trying to keep the DPRK on the back burner for as long as we can.