I don't quite understand what you are asking for.
When you place an image that is tagged with an embedded ICC profile into InDesign - whether RGB, CMYK, grayscale, or LAB-based - the association of that profile with that image continues. If you export PDF/X-4, to use your example, the image is exported with that profile unless you explicitly request that colors are to be converted and even then, the incoming ICC profiles are honored.
Please explain what you expect to happen.
First of all thanks for your help, Dov.
I may be wrong, but from the tests I made, the image's ICC profile is honored only if the InDesign Color Settings CMYK field is set to "Preserve Embedded Profiles".
If, at the moment that you place it, Color Settings are set to "Preserve Numbers (Ignore linked profiles), InDesign will "forget" the ICC, and won't send it to the PDF/X-4 even if you ask him to.
Now, I don't remember which is the default option for InDesign's Color Settings, but we receive a lot of .indd files (most of them books) whose images are profile-ignored. And then either we change it one-by-one or we assing another profile for the .indd, save, close, open it again and ask him to "re-enable" the profiles in the Profile Mismatch window. As I mentioned above.
So, in response to your question, I wanted InDesign to offer live control to these options, so I can send to the PDF what I really wanted in an easier way.
Again, I may be standing on a wrong supposition.
Of course our heads together will think better than one.
OK, now I understand what you are referring to.
The default color settings available with Adobe applications do apply the profiles for non-CMYK content, but for CMYK content use the Preserve Numbers (ignore linked profiles) setting. This is done to avoid the problems 4-3-4 color conversions which tend to yield polluted primary colors. Most color management is associated with conversion or one or another RGB color spaces to a target CMYK color space and not between one CMYK color space and another.
Adobe applications do allow the CMYK profiles to be honored. You simply need to create a color setting that has Preserve Embedded Profiles for CMYK as well as RGB.
However, I would agree that you would have a problem if you receive existing InDesign documents with placed CMYK imagery where the CMYK profiles were purposely ignored, but that you subsequently want or need to honor. Currently, you would need to manually go and fix every one of such placed images.