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U.S. wants world to isolate North Korea, so what's that mean?

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When President Donald Trump's U.N. ambassador recently urged the world to sever diplomatic ties with North Korea, she was sketchy on the details: Should all embassies close? How about those providing the U.S. intelligence from the largely inscrutable country? And what of Sweden, which helps with imprisoned Americans?

Nikki Haley's recent call to action underscores the challenge for the United States as it tries to advance a nonmilitary strategy for resolving the nuclear standoff with North Korea. Isolating the reclusive, totalitarian state has been a central component of the U.S. plan, even though Washington says it remains open to talks.

Like international economic penalties, the Trump administration believes the diplomatic isolation serves two purposes.

It's designed to punish North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for developing an atomic arsenal of bombs and intercontinental missiles that potentially could deliver nuclear warheads anywhere in the United States. U.S. officials also contend that freezing out North Korea could drive Kim's government to seek negotiations.

"We do know they care a lot about their international reputation," said Mark Tokola, a former No. 2 at the U.S. Embassy in South Korea.

Trump's team has chalked up some successes in narrowing the North's diplomatic reach. Mexico, Peru, Italy, Spain, and Kuwait have expelled North Korean ambassadors from their countries. Haley said Portugal and the United Arab Emirates have suspended diplomatic relations. Others........

© Japan Today