On Wednesday, after North Korea fired a missile over Japan, President Trump announced that “talking to Pyongyang was not the answer.” Minutes later, his secretary of defense told reporters that “we’re never out of diplomatic solutions.”
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump was open to negotiations “There’s a 10 percent or a 20 percent chance that I can talk him out of those damn nukes,” he said last June. He was right then and wrong now, and not just because talking is better than fighting. There are several reasons he should give diplomacy a chance.
Nothing else is working
Trump inherited a failed North Korea policy from both his immediate predecessors. And while it’s certainly not his fault that North Korea became a nuclear power, the tactics that his administration have assembled to deal with the challenge don’t appear to be working. Sanctions have been toughened; China has been recruited to pressure North Korea (and has cooperated up to a point); and Japan and South Korea have been bucked up.