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It is a measure of the difficulty in negotiating with North Korea — and the prospects for eventual success — that Washington and Pyongyang cannot even agree on the proper characterization of their meeting in Stockholm last weekend. U.S. State Department officials called the first round of working-level talks in eight months a “good discussion,” while their North Korean counterparts said the negotiations “broke down” and the lead diplomat pronounced himself “very displeased.”

Ultimately, the differences may not matter: U.S. President Donald Trump remains committed to his relationship with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, regardless of progress — or lack thereof — in nuclear talks.

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