Back to Square One

Clinton could face another showdown as Pyongyang backtracks in the nuclear negotiations

North Korean diplomats have exasperated Americans since the Korean War, when the top U.S. armistice negotiator denounced them as "treacherous savages." Last week U.S. diplomats felt much the same as the third round of talks in Geneva to halt Pyongyang's nuclear-development program not only stalled but slid backward.

North Korea's tough-guy bargaining and brazen attempts to retract concessions already given were so unyielding that the U.S. asked for a recess and recalled its negotiators to Washington for consultations. Was the impasse just aggressive brinkmanship by the hard men of Pyongyang or the end of the diplomatic opening begun in June during...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!