Ambassador Wendy Sherman, who led the successful nuclear negotiations with Iran, called the talks with North Korea, "the hardest negotiations." A series of US administrations, over several decades, has tried to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, with fairly consistent incentives: economic assistance including relief from sanctions, a formal end to the Korean War, and an upgrade in bilateral relations. In some cases, agreements were reached and there were signs of progress. However, none of the efforts succeeded in reining in North Korea's nuclear weapons program and many observers today doubt whether Pyongyang ever intended to give up their nukes. President Trump has tried his own brand of personal diplomacy, meeting Kim Jung Un in Singapore, Hanoi, and the DMZ. This has helped improve the atmosphere, but otherwise achieved very little. How did we get into this situation and what are the prospects for solutions?
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