Writing in publications ranging from National Review Online (NRO) to the New York Times, neo-conservatives claim, contrary to the lessons drawn by "realists" and other critics of the George W Bush administration, that Monday's supposed test vindicates their long-held view that negotiations with "rogue" states such as North Korea are useless and that "regime change" - by military means, if necessary - is the only answer.
"With our intelligence on North Korea so uneven, the doctrine of preemption must return to the fore," wrote Dan Blumenthal, an Asia specialist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) who worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during President Bush's first term, in the NRO on Tuesday. "Any talk of renewed six-party talks [involving China, Japan, Russia, the US and the two Koreas] must be resisted."
The North Korean test "has stripped any plausibility to arguments that engaging dictators works", according to Michael Rubin, a Middle East specialist at AEI, who added that the Bush administration now faced a "watershed" in its relations with other states that have defied Washington in recent years.
"This crisis is not just about North Korea, but about Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba as well," said Rubin. "Bush now has two choices: to respond forcefully and show that defiance has consequence, or affirm that defiance pays and that international will is illusionary."
-Excerpt Of An Article By Jim Lobe, IPS