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Pompeo can practice diplomacy or fantasy - but not both

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By Stephen Costello

The fundamental concepts at the heart of U.S. policy toward North Korea have been wrong for 17 years, and clearly so.

Now President Trump will either make new U.S.-DPRK agreements using older, more realistic concepts or he will surrender to the Bush/Obama failed playbook. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's talks in Pyongyang last week suggest the choice between these two is becoming more urgent.

The key concept that the U.S. has relied on is that the North needs pressure and coercion in order to "change its calculations" and embrace denuclearization. But it has indicated its preference for economic development over nuclear weapons for years, and demonstrated it.

American journalists and specialists have also swallowed a deliberate misreading of U.S.-DPRK negotiating history. It was the U.S., not the DPRK, that destroyed the working Agreed Framework, and it did so for political and ideological reasons, as the principals' books make clear. This was a regional and generational catastrophe. Trump now........

© The Korea Times