TOKYO -- Imagine an organization -- whether it be a government or a business -- that faces a serious issue. If its leader insists that there is still a good chance that the issue will be settled somehow, despite the fact that the current approach has clearly become bogged down, that attitude is insincere -- and even dangerous. This attitude would cause delays in taking a second-best policy, and it would also make the situation worse.
The present state of the North Korea nuclear issue puts nations concerned in just such a situation. From May through October, Pyongyang has fired new types of missiles. Meanwhile, administrative-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea in Stockholm on Oct. 5 ended without any progress.