What to Expect From Talks With North Korea

This week’s guest, Mickey Bergman, has been to the table with North Korea before and knows what to expect from the upcoming talks.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

On March 8, after decades of failed attempts at diplomacy, U.S. President Donald Trump accepted an invitation to an unprecedented face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. But does this mean we’re any closer to a nuclear truce?

To get an insight into what to expect from the strategic shift, the E.R. brought in one of the few Westerners who has negotiated with the North Koreans, Mickey Bergman.

Few understand better the nuances of negotiating on the ground in Pyongyang than Bergman. In the course of his 25 years working in strategic, private diplomacy efforts in North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar, and the Middle East, Bergman has worked in what he calls “fringe diplomacy,” an innovative discipline he defines as “exploring the space just beyond the boundaries of states’ and governments’ authority in international relations.”

FP’s chief national security correspondent Dan De Luce and FP’s print editor Sarah Wildman met with Bergman in FP’s Washington studio.

Mickey Bergman is vice president of the Richardson Center, a nongovernmental organization created by Bill Richardson, the former United Nations ambassador and New Mexico governor. The center works to negotiate the release of political prisoners held by criminal organizations and hostile regimes around the world and to promote dialogue between states with strained diplomatic relations. Follow him on Twitter: @mickeybergman

Dan De Luce is FP’s chief national security correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @dandeluce.

Sarah Wildman is Foreign Policy’s print editor. Follow her on Twitter: @SarahAWildman

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