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Nevertheless, there are caveats. As Mr. Armstrong puts it, “[C]ontinued engagement, but with lower and more realistic expectations of engagement’s effect on North Korea’s near-term behavior, would be the most prudent policy.” So would be preparing for the possible — or more realistically, likely — failure of negotiation.

“Engagement with North Korea” reminds us why diplomacy is the preferred strategy in dealing with Pyongyang. However, the contributors offer no guarantees about the likely success of such an approach. Unfortunately, the problem of North Korea is not likely to be resolved any time soon.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Reagan, he is the author of several books, including “The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations With North and South Korea” (co-author, Palgrave/Macmillan Press) and “Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World” (Cato).