Check out this report
describing how close we came to war with N. Korea in 2003. Scary stuff.
President Bush came very close to actually launching an attack on North Korea in the spring of 2003. In March the U.S. moved a fleet of ships to the region, including the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson with its 75 aircraft. In preparation for the attack, 6 F-117 Stealth bombers were sent to South Korea and 25 F-15 Fighters and 24 B-1 and B-52 bombers were stationed in Guam. Plans to conduct air strikes were in place, Bush admitted to South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Pan Ki-Mun one year later. The danger of war was averted during the U.S.-South Korean summit in Washington in May 2003, when South Korean officials strenuously objected to the plan. As in 1994, the American public never knew just how close the U.S. came to war on the Korean Peninsula in 2003. South Korean opposition to military action only strengthened the Bush Administration’s conviction that it would be necessary to demonstrate the futility of negotiations before it could win the support of regional allies. It felt it could best accomplish that goal by presenting an image of negotiating without actually doing so.