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On Tuesday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister warned that the United States faces “undesired consequences” if it fails to flex on its position on denuclearization by the end of the year. This comes after North Korea publicized its “tactical guided weapons test,” ghosted inter-Korean meetings, issued strong rhetoric toward the U.S. and South Korean governments, and conducted its first summit between Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While some would view all this as a bad omen for diplomatic engagement, this former intergovernmental negotiator sees it as an opportunity. The North Korean government has signaled its willingness to continue negotiations and is simply taking steps to improve its position at the negotiating table. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has shown no major movement in improving its approach to North Korea since the impasse in Hanoi over two months ago. There is now a window of opportunity for the U.S. to adapt its negotiation strategy, and there are four things the Trump administration could do to this end.

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