Why a return to diplomacy over North Korea has few takers

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Despite some progress made, critics say six-party talks launched in 2003 were unwieldy and exploited by Pyongyang

All sides in the North Korea crisis agree there are no good options. Sanctions, the most complex ever designed by the UN, are of limited effect unless an oil embargo is imposed – in which case the whole country slides into chaos, something China opposes. A military assault is likely to lead to reprisals and mass casualties that would dwarf Hiroshima.

Related: Xi Jinping says a dark shadow looms over the world after years of peace

Related: After North Korea’s denuclearisation has failed, who can bring it back to the negotiation table? | Jiyoung Song

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