An extract from Rolling Blunder, a Washington Monthly article by Fred Kaplan:
The CIA got wind that North Korea may have been acquiring centrifuges for enriching uranium since the late 1990s, most likely from Pakistan. By September 2002, the conclusion was inescapable.
On Oct. 4, Kelly flew to Pyongyang to confront North Korean officials with the evidence. The North Koreans admitted it was true. For almost two weeks, the Bush administration kept this meeting a secret. The U.S. Senate was debating a resolution to give President Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq. The public rationale for war was that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. If it was known that North Korea was also making WMDs--and nuclear weapons, at that--it would have muddied the debate over Iraq. Some would have wondered whether Iraq was the more compelling danger--or asked why Bush saw a need for war against Iraq but not against North Korea. The Senate passed the Iraqi war resolution on Oct. 11. The Bush administration publicly revealed what it had known for weeks about North Korea's enriched-uranium program on Oct. 17.
Something tells me that Bush will still be the next US president.