Christopher Hill

By breaking the rules--a little--he's helping to lure a hermit country back into the open

David Deal for TIME

Christopher Hill's smart gambles have brought North Korea back to the negotiating table.


Diplomats are trained to stay in line. They promote national policy, but they never make it. Christopher Hill, the U.S.'s head envoy to North Korea, is that rare diplomat who did things differently, stepping out ahead of his talking points and managing to bring his bosses along with him. As a result, he is also helping to bring the most dangerous nation in Asia back into the global embrace.

Hill, 55, began his careful diplomatic dance back in July 2005, when the six-party talks--which included both North and South Korea, the U.S., Japan, Russia and China--were stalled. North Korea had...

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