Normally, I am not one to jump to any conclusions in regards to a person's, or nation's, intentions. However, considering that North Korea's rocket flew directly over Japan and supposedly failed to place it's payload into orbit, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say they just signaled to the rest of the world they are now a nuclear power.
Do they have enough to go toe to toe with us, or any other country with a left over cold war arsenal? Probably not. In fact, I'd go so far as to say North Korea has assured it's own destruction. If they lob one of their inferior bombs at, say, Pakistan or India, good bye North Korea.
Now, if they pointed one of those bombs at the US, hell we wouldn't even need to use any nuclear weapons in retaliation. A good week of carpet bombing with conventional weapons would be just as effective as a few lobbed nucs. The North Korean government and military is posing, images of grandeur populating their collective imagination in compensation for their lack of true might and completely ignorant of their inability to stand up to the big boys at the moment.
However, that does not mean they will remain impotent. Having possibly developed nuclear weapon capability, and obviously having developed the very real capability of transporting a nuclear weapon, we are going to have to deal with North Korea quickly.
I could go on at this point about the failure of the last administration in preventing North Korea from developing nuclear capability, but that will not change the facts now in place. North Korea has shown itself capable of inflicting severe damage to it's neighbors and disrupting an already unstable global state of affairs. Regardless of how North Korea managed to achieve nuclear weapons capability, we now have to address the issues.
Even more frightening is the real possibility of North Korea setting off World War III. With North Korea stands China. Whether we like it or not, China will have much to say in the manner of how North Korea is dealt. We mishandle China - look out.
The United States once managed to put into place a framework to keep North Korea sedate. Then, with our collective heads shoved up our collective asses, we placed George W. Bush into the Oval Office - twice! We now are facing the real consequences of that insanity. I hope to God we've managed to place a man in the Oval Office capable of rectifying this mess left for him; and us.