I found a short blurb on BBC about a speech that Rumsfeld made, where he was ostensibly reaffirming the United States' continued interest in building and maintaining ties in Asia. It struck me as somewhat odd that it did not mention North Korea at all, especially with all of these new developments surrounding negotiation with them.
That's pretty short commentary but I also noticed something else on a site called TechCentralStation (one might say it's a conservative-leaning website, but I've also had it described to me as more 'rationalist' than anything else). Anyways, I read on that site that despite North Korea's reputation as a "pariah state," it still has extensive economic ties to China (who allegedly supply a large portion of North Korea's energy) and South Korean companies that have "significant" investments there. I somewhat doubt the accuracy of this site. There are many good articles about the U.S. and world economies, but I'm not sure North Korea falls under their particular purview. You can check out the article I read here.
I apologize for the slightly short nature of this post, but I have to say that honestly one of the reasons I'm taking this course is to be able to discourse with people about U.S. security policy, which is what most interests me right now on this topic.