An overriding desire of the Democrats seems to be a return to Clinton times. And why not? The market was up every day, every other person was an internet millionaire, we were at peace (relatively), and terrorists didn't kill enough people for us to really care. This regressionary desire seems to be the thrust of today's Nicholas Kristof piece.
You see, during Clinton's term, North Korea had no nuclear weapons (maybe one or two), and now under Bush they have six. This of course is due to the fact that Bush refuses to engage in bilateral negotiations with North Korea the way that Clinton did. Kristof is trying to make the argument that the 1994 "Agreed Framework" negotiated by Carter - the greatest example of appeasement since the Oslo Accords - stopped the North Koreans from working on their nuclear program. He does mention, however, that
...but about 1999, it secretly started on a second nuclear route involving uranium.
That was much less worrisome than the plutonium program (it still seems to be years from producing a single uranium weapon), and it probably could have been resolved through negotiation, as past crises had been.
So the "Agreed Framework" worked so well that North Korea started a Uranium enrichment program?
This whole article is complete and utter non-sense. The left side of the political spectrum refuses to learn that appeasement simply does not work. North Korea abided by the agreement for as long as it was convenient for them, and when it was no longer convenient they stopped. Now that they need more oil, and more food, they are once again using the same tactics as before. Their hope is that the Bush Administration will act like the Clinton Administration and agree to supply them with whatever they need, while they pretend to stop their nuclear weapons program. Until, of course, they want something else. Then we will go through this whole routine again. This is the standard result of appeasement.
Realistically, there is only one way to deal with North Korea and that is to force China to pressure them to give up their nukes. China wants hegemony of the region, convincing them that their support (or lack of pressure) on North Korea will harm that desire, i.e. by Japan and/or Taiwan going nuclear, is the best way to disarm North Korea.