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SEOUL — The United States and North Korea finally have begun talking again. Or have they? Are they talking to each other, at each other or past each other? Although the two sides agreed to keep the diplomatic channels open, it’s going to take a lot more meetings to get out of this crisis in one piece.

The talks in Beijing last week began around a swirl of disinformation. A tongue-in-cheek mistranslation gave the impression that the North had completed, or at least was well into, the reprocessing of spent plutonium from its Yongbyon reactor.

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