President Barack Obama found that his pledge to bring change to Washington resonated with many voters. We suspect that many Americans view U.S. policy toward North Korea as a leading candidate for dramatic change.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first official trip overseas last week, with a visit to countries in Asia. Among issues she was expected to discuss was North Korea.
Leaders of that hard-line communist nation - possibly in reaction to Clinton's warning to them to avoid "provocative action and unhelpful rhetoric" -revealed on Monday that they plan to go ahead with a controversial test of a new missile. Analysts have warned that the rocket is a long-range weapon that may be capable of reaching the United States.
For too long, North Korean leaders have rattled their sabers loudly - then, under pressure from the international community, vowed to back away from an aggressive arms buildup that includes long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. After making such agreements, the North Koreans within months go back to bellicose rhetoric and development of weapons of mass destruction.
It is a truly vicious cycle - one that has continued through the administrations of both Republican and Democratic presidents. At some point, North Korea will become a serious threat to U.S. security. Now would be a good time for Obama and Clinton, working with leaders of other world powers, to apply the "change" mandate to Pyongyang.