Kim Raises the Stakes

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It has been more than three years since U.S. President George W. Bush labeled North Korea a charter member of his "axis of evil," and ever since then, the opaque, hard-line Communist state has lurked just offstage, never quite becoming the U.S. Administration's foreign-policy crisis of the moment. There was the invasion of Afghanistan, then a war in Iraq that has been far messier than the Bush team ever anticipated. And there was the fact that all the while, as the North's intention to wield nuclear weapons persisted, as it demanded that Washington stop treating it as a pariah, the Administration...