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The futile pursuit of North Korea's 'golden concession'

Evergreen strategy rests on a fatally flawed premise

| North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, pictured on Jan.14: we know what North Korea wants because it told us.   © KCNA/Reuters

Anthony W. Holmes was special adviser for North Korea in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2017-2021. During that time, Holmes led the Department of Defense team designing the Maximum Pressure Campaign and was one of only two DOD representatives at the inaugural U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore.

The dawn of a new U.S. administration begins a ritual known as the North Korea policy review wherein U.S. policy toward the Hermit Kingdom is decided. This process is underway in the Biden Administration. I know this effort well because in January 2017 I led the huge Department of Defense team drafting core components of what became the Maximum Pressure Campaign.

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