Why the negotiations are futile. China will defend any and everything that the North Koreans will do if only to keep the country's subjects from seeking refuge in their country. Until the Chinese are willing to back a substantive sanction and inspection regime that allows for full, unannounced and unfettered access to North Korea's military facilities there is no point to any further negotiations with Pyongyang.
Attempts to meet with the North Koreans and the other regional powers must be rebuffed and the president must, in a show of solidarity, meet with his counterparts from Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand to express his solidarity with our allies, issue a joint statement condemning the North Korean administration for assault on South Korea's territorial integrity while warning against further strikes, reaffirm our nation's commitment to Japan and South Korea's defense, and offer to conduct joint military exercises with the South Koreans. China's premier should be invited to participate in the discussions but only with the understanding that the United States and its Pacific allies are willing to issue their statement with or without their support.
Last night the Political Heretic said we should not let the latest revelations concerning North Korea's latest nuclear enrichment program draw us into a new round of negotiations with the North Koreans because the concession we expect from the North Koreans are the nuclear weapons they use to extract concessions from us. They won't give up what we want them to give up because it is the one thing the impoverished country could use at the negotiation table. That much hasn't changed, but the latest incident forces us to confront the North Koreans now rather than later.
Update: US aircraft carrier is headed to the region for military exercise. Claim is that this was planned before the attack.