"... Despite the title of this 'Frontline,' Kim isn't the only gambler in this game. What's happened in the past few months between him and Bush is perhaps the fiercest bluffing -- or brinksmanship -- since President John F. Kennedy told the Soviet Union to pull its missiles out of Cuba in 1962.
"Working its way up to the present impasse over Kim developing weapons-grade plutonium, 'Frontline' reminds us what a prickly handful this country has been since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire half a century ago. ..."
The Boston GlobeSam Allis
"... PBS's documentary series 'Frontline' once again does our homework for us, with a solid one-hour program... It ties the story together and answers the question: How did this happen?
"Once again, 'Frontline' offers nothing astonishing to those who have followed the story, but it provides a comprehensive view on how we arrived at the current brinksmanship between North Korea and the United States. Neither party comes off well. ..."
The Kansas City StarAaron Barnhart
"... 'Frontline' focuses more on the diplomatic troubles between the United States and North Korea.
"[Producer Martin] Smith argues persuasively that while the current ill will was brought about by the Bush administration's brinksmanship with Kim, Americans have really never grasped the North Korean mindset. One ex-diplomat calls it the longest-running intelligence failure in U.S. espionage.
"It doesn't help that the current ambassador to South Korea, Thomas Hubbard, looks terrible on camera, seeming not to know the first thing about diplomacy. 'I think there's been entirely too much focus on words and too little focus on the substance of the policy,' he stammers.
"Smith can't believe he's hearing the administration's point man on North Korea dissing the importance of words. 'You're a diplomat!' he tells Hubbard.
Later, a former top U.S. official says action on North Korea must happen in 'months, not years,' or else Kim will have nukes safety stashed away. For a country working overtime to unseat another dictator, that is an unsettling thought."