What a pragmatist can hope for in North Korea talks

It's been confirmed that CIA director Mike Pompeo had held direct talks with Mr Kim Jong Un in North Korea, and negotiations between Mr Kim and President Donald Trump really do seem in the offing, so we need to ask how such negotiations might actually succeed.

There are indeed reasons to be optimistic, but not because I see high odds of striking a workable deal with the North Korean totalitarian regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2018, with the headline 'What a pragmatist can hope for in North Korea talks'. Print Edition | Subscribe