Complex questions accompany diplomatic choices on NKorea

December 11, 2017 - 4:12 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Donald Trump's U.N. ambassador recently urged the world to sever diplomatic ties with North Korea, she was sketchy on the details: Should all embassies close? How about those providing the U.S. intelligence from the largely inscrutable country? And what of Sweden, which helps with imprisoned Americans?

Nikki Haley's recent call to action underscores the challenge for the United States as it tries to advance a nonmilitary strategy for resolving the nuclear standoff with North Korea. Isolating the totalitarian state has been a central component of the U.S. plan, even though Washington says it remains open to talks.

Like international economic penalties, the Trump administration believes diplomatic isolation serves a purpose. It's designed to punish North Korea leader Kim Jong Un for developing an atomic arsenal of bombs.

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