So while the security council and everybody else will condemn the latest North Korean missile tests, a resumption of the talks will be sought rather than more sanctions. Perhaps former US president Jimmy Carter will go to Pyongyang again, reminding North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and the regime of the wishes of his father, Kim Il-sung. We must hope that in the six-power talks, formulas are found that can bring sufficient benefits to all sides. Such formulas are unlikely to include sufficient inspection to guarantee that no undeclared fissile material is hidden, but must have guarantees against any capability to produce more such material.
And what if nothing is enough to persuade the North Korean regime? What if it fears that nothing but a continued demonstration of its nuclear weapons and missile power will guarantee its existence? Then we shall have to be patient, seek to prevent proliferation and wait for another day.
Hans Blix is chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission and former head of the UN weapons inspection team in Iraq.