Two bits about North Korea this morning. First, in my WPR column I argue that the transition will likely involve factional conflict in North Korea, and that it’s worth reaching out to some of these factions:
It is wrong to say that the U.S. can “wipe the slate clean” with the new North Korean leadership, but the Group of Six could approach new talks under the premise that the past decade of bad blood was the responsibility of the previous ruler. No one believes this to be true, but diplomacy often requires public adherence to untruths. Moreover, a public diplomatic entreaty might increase the strength of the most moderate — or financially “flexible” — factions within the DPRK. If such entreaties fail, there will always be time for harsher measures in the future.
On Monday I was on the Alyona Show, talking North Korea transition and policy: