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Is There Still Time for Diplomacy With North Korea?

Published by The National Interest

By Joel Wit and William McKinney

Some talk about accepting North Korea as a nuclear weapons state and providing Pyongyang with assistance to help it stave off what they believe is a humanitarian disaster—a fairly severe drought—facing the North Korean people. Still others argue that China should accept sole responsibility for denuclearizing Pyongyang, going beyond stepping up sanctions to reaching a deal with the North providing a security assurance and assistance in return for it tamping down its nuclear program. How to convince China to take that drastic step and why North Korea would want a security assurance from China, not the United States, its main enemy, is left for others to figure out. And then of course there is the ever-present group advocating tougher sanctions on China, North Korea and anyone and anything else that can be sanctioned to punish Pyongyang. But pressing this policy default button isn’t going to stop Pyongyang from moving forward.

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