Yet again Donald Trump has proved that he was not the most militaristic Republican running for President. While most of Trump’s erstwhile Republican opponents were more likely to propose bombing North Korea, he proposed talking with Pyongyang.
Whether Trump meant a summit, phone conversation, or diplomatic discussion is unclear. But Washington should propose diplomatic talks, whether or not ultimately capped by a presidential conversation.
After all, other approaches are a nonstarter or have failed. Military strikes likely would trigger serious retaliation and possibly full-scale war. Sanctions have inflicted pain but not changed Pyongyang’s policy.
Why engage? First, even paranoids have enemies. Diminishing its sense of threat would at least create a possibility that Pyongyang would respond favorably to American initiatives.