Lots of folks think this nuke thing is good news for the GOP because it puts national security in play and diminishes the Foley stuff. As political analysis, I think that's probably right. But let's keep in mind that North Korea's nuke testing constitutes a failure of US policy. We can debate the details and the extenuating circumstances, but President Bush denounced the Axis of Evil five years ago and promised that he would do everything to keep its members from getting nukes. Well, North Korea just detonated one. Iran is well on its way to getting one. And Iraq, well, that's not quite the bright spot we hoped it would be"
NRO 10/9/2006 [h/t Andrew Sullivan.]
The problem of course was lumping them altogether to begin with. Iran is, in my estimate, open to negotiation; North Korea is off in looney land. The key is China. Right now, I think Japan will feel it has to develop nuclear weapons, since the only possible target is Tokyo.
North Korea has no way to deliver bombs very far. It knows that any use of it's (1-2-3-4 - some small number) of launchers will result in an immediate response - but they are weird enough to try it.
It may turn out that Bill Clinton was right again (and I thought he was wrong at at the time) in allowing commerce with China. Commerce is creating a rich and huge middle class that simply will not allow the destruction of its wealth by some stupid rice-farmer ideological war. China's one child policy is helping; when you put all your eggs (or sperm) in one cuddly little basket, you do not want to loose eternal veneration as an ancestor by having the little bugger blown to pieces in the name of a North Korean with a funny hairdo and a Hollywood fixation.