Over the past 60 years, North Korea has intermittently done things to ensure they get back on the newspaper. These have included acts of aggression (the submarine incident, the poplar tree incident, the crab war), acts of sheer ridiculousness (heroin exports, the importation of 600 cows from the hyundai founder), even plain rhetoric (you sycophantic stooge).
Now, in their latest attempt to provide evidence to their continued relevance, North Korea announced it would conduct a nuclear test.
Look, I wasn't a fan of the Sunshine policy. I didn't think the oil and food agreement to help NK build light water reactors was a good idea inasmuch as North Korea can't be trusted. But if this isn't an indictment against president Bush's foreign policy, then I don't know what could be. North Korea does these things to ensure that they get aid. They want to blackmail the rest of the world into doing their work for them, and we do nothing to stop them. President Bush's foreign policy has created a situation in Afghanistan where Senator Frist is even calling for the Taliban to resume government work, h/t Gun Toting Liberal. Iraq is so screwed up that nobody knows what to call it. The current situation is bad, but the only choices so far seem to be the dreaded "stay the course" or "cut and run." Why do we always presume there are only two options? How about "Do something different?!" If it gets worse, then we change again, we improvise, adapt, change how we do things. Unfortunately, what we have shown is that we're good at making messes but we suck at trying to clean them up afterwards.
Our actions, according to the NIE, are helping to make more terrorists. Our troops are committed to two nations that we can't stabilize, and we stay because if we don't, they'll slip into civil war, or "we'll fight the terrorists on our land." This gives the other nations who we've as much as declared our enemies (the axis of evil) enough latitude to get fiesty, to put it mildly.
North Korea could have, and should have been dealt with. They have countless human rights violations. They have WMDs, that THEY announce they have or are about to have. They have committed acts of aggression against South Korea, Japan, and US Soldiers. In north Korea, we have a nation that is split. One half of that nation is already a representative republic. The other nation is filled with countrymen who, after defeated, would welcome the opportunity to be back with their families, back in their hometowns, back together. The hatred would have dissipated, not festered. Yet, instead of dealing with them then, we determined they weren't worth our while, and now they're ready to test nukes. This is in large part a result of bad foreign policy on our part, and that stems from poor leadership.