Steven Den Beste has a detailed look at the US strategy for North Korea. He compares it to what Iraq is trying to do with the US – pretend to give concessions while secretly ensuring that their long-range goals are not met. (Although the US has the power to escape such a situation – North Korea does not.)
The situation in North Korea can only be made worse by acting rashly. When nuclear weapons are involved in a crisis, the decision-making calculus changes dramatically. Applying the same rationale to North Korea as we are on Iraq ignores the fact that any hostile action towards the DPRK could very well lead to smouldering craters where Seoul and Tokyo once stood. Den Beste is right – the best strategy is to wait the situation out until diplomacy has the chance to work or the North Koreans lose their resolve. There are times for bold and decisive action, and times to exercise patience. North Korea falls firmly into the latter.