Reconciling the U.S. sense of threat with the East Asians’ paramount concern for stability won’t be easy. As things stand now, China’s rejection of U.S. pleas puts an effective end to U.S. plans to bring North Korea’s weapons program up for sanction at the UN Security Council, where China is certain to wield a veto. But on top of all that, there is wide disagreement on whether Pyongyang is bluffing about the existence of nuclear weapons or its plans to test them. Calling North Korea’s hermit regime inscrutable is a cliche, but it reflects an undeniable reality. We simply don’t know enough about its intentions. Making tough decisions on hazy or conflicting information proved to be a grave mistake in Iraq. Bush must not make the same mistake in North Korea.