The following is an excerpt from Philip Elliott | July 13, 2017 | Time.com |
When David Pressman would sit down with his counterparts from China or Russia to discuss the provocations of North Korea, he often heard the same message coming across the tables: "You need to talk. You need to talk."
It was maddening to Pressman, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. for special political affairs. Talking works only if both parties agree to an agenda, and the U.S. and North Korea could not even get that far. "The United States is prepared to talk. We're prepared to talk about denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," says Pressman, now a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner. "But the North Koreans are not willing to have that conversation. The North Koreans want to have a conversation that accepts their status as a nuclear power." That, many argue, is not a difference the U.S. can overlook.
And yet the need for some kind of engagement has become more urgent in recent weeks. North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4 that, in theory, can reach Alaska. It was a remarkable milestone for a country that routinely pledges to annihilate Americans. And it isn't stopping.
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