Examine any plan on North Korea

U.S. officials are eager to conclude an Iran-style deal to prompt North Korea to scrap its nuclear arsenal, President Barack Obama said last Friday. He added, however, that Pyongyang would have to “be prepared to have a serious conversation,” including ways of verifying compliance.

That is highly unlikely to occur, especially given the success North Korean leaders have had in pledging to disarm, then breaking their promises promptly.

So knotty is the North Korea problem that there has been no progress in solving it during Obama’s presidency. There was none under his predecessor, President George W. Bush, either.

And that ought to lead members of Congress to a question: Is there a concrete U.S. strategy for dealing with what amay be the most brutal and in some ways lunatic regime on the planet?

One suspects that if a North Korea gameplan exists, it ought to be reexamined in light of its failures.

It is likely U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic officials will not want to make public every detail of their strategy, for obvious reasons. Still, leaders in Congress should insist on hearing them, if for no other reason than to suggest the next president try something different.


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