April 4th, 2013
12:12 AM ET

Does North Korea deserve diplomacy?

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour and Richard Haass argue the merits and drawbacks of engaging with a belligerent North Korea.

Amanpour, who reported from North Korea in 2008, and Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the forthcoming book, "Foreign Policy Begins at Home," debate negotiation tactics and past talks between the U.S and North Korea.

Haas believes talks now would mean rewarding bad behavior. "Diplomacy is not going to solve this problem," he says.

Amanpour disagrees with that notion and argues that discussions could prevent the situation from escalating. "Diplomacy is created precisely to bridge the difference with your enemies. It doesn't mean rewarding your adversaries," she says.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments or on iReport.

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Filed under: Christiane Amanpour • North Korea
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. David

    The people of N. Korea ARE innocent. The country is in lock-down. All information reaching the people is seriously censored. They've been mislead for decades and are regularly fed propaganda which has seriously distorted things for them. They have faith in their leaders just as we have in ours. Fortunately we have the free will to see that our leaders are not handling themselves responsibly, dishonoring our country in the process. The N. Koreans don't have this mental clarity AT THIS TIME. Our hearts should be going out to the people of N. Korea. Not a desire to flatten their country. It's time for regime change in that lost land but the people will need our compassion and help until they can get back on their feet and take their place amongst the free peoples of the world.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
  2. Mick

    Enough is enough. A third generation of arrogant and pompous idiots is behaving worse than his forefathers. Flatten the place and pick the pieces out of our teeth with a toothpick. The "innocent" people have had three generations to rise up and stop this. They have failed and are no longer innocent. If a people want to rid themselves of a government badly enough they will try. Gee didn't we do that with GB?

    April 5, 2013 at 1:46 am |
  3. George Dill

    Time to nuke North Korea. Obama should ask congress for a declaration of war. 6 hours after declaration we drop 50 nukes on north side of DMZ. Followed in a few hours of 90 more nukes on all military targets in the territory and their subs.

    No Americans set foot on North Korea; tell South Korea, Japan, Russia, and China anyone who wants it can have it. We have 50 more nukes available to hammer any residual nutsos that emerge.

    Many may die, welcome to the human race.

    April 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
  4. Mike

    The NK government is beyond diplomacy by their own declaration and are not deserving. The NK people are not and do.

    April 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  5. David

    Nations such as N. Korea have no sense of international responsibility. We have tolerated their kind far too long. The international community needs to get serious about such countries! Have China enter from the West, Russia from the North and the US from the East. The three of us should be able to deal with this foolishness quickly. Then have the UN set up a temporary government until the people of N. Korea can intelligently, meaning bringing them up to speed as to what has actually been going on, decide there own fate. Either reunification or their own homeland. ENOUGH of this nonsense!

    April 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Sam Scrutchins

      I totally agree with David. Unfortunately, neither China nor Russia would be willing to do this, even though in the long run in would benefit all nations of the world. North Korea is run by despots, and sooner or later, the powers in that country will cause major havoc in the world. The U.S. cannot do this alone. Even though we have the might, if not the will with the current administration, the negative consequences are too much to bear. Having said this, I do believe that Congress should declare war on North Korea and give Obama the authority to launch pre-emptive strikes in case they do become necessary.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:36 am |
  6. Alan

    Engagement and Diplomacy is the key to bridge this wide gap. Our past strategy of pressure, intimidation and isolation didn’t work and doesn’t work any longer in today’s world. They are a Nuclear State because we made them to move on that direction. That meant survival to them. We are still employing outdated approach to our foreign policy challenges. We can’t be humble! That is the problem.

    April 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • wai

      I totally agree. We should have learned by now that hostility only induces more hostility. US has ignored the UN and initiated a war with Iraq without legal justification, but it is telling NK to observe international obligations and expects NK to listen to us. We are kidding ourselves. If we are the true world leader, we need to show true leadership by initiating friendly discussion with NK and helping the country economically. Our government has been too passive, waiting for NK to do something, and then it reacts. Our government has been arrogant and bullish. Conducting military exercise close to NK is not a threat to NK, but everything NK does is a threat to US. What kind of logic is that? Look at what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq. We do not need more wars, causing more sufferings and deaths which the world already has seen too much of.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  7. George

    We increased the sanctions, and judging from North Korea's rhetoric and actions, they are having an effect. Now it seems that we are beginning to second guess our public comment about defensive preparations because of North Korea's increasingly hostile reaction, which we should have expected. My advice would be to avoid any more public comment by our generals, congressmen, senators et al but continue defensive preparations for any contingency. It's up to them to back off the threatening comment and actions. When they have done that we can consider negotiations.

    April 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  8. LT Fang

    The N.K. needs an whooping. Sorry South Korea, but you need to clean up that mess sooner or later. Better now than later.

    April 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  9. Vin

    Eliminate North Korea and call it a day. We can erase the entire government and command staff of that nation overnight. There's no reason to pay attention to them anymore.

    April 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  10. Yanozik

    I don't want to pay with my Taxes for that diplomacy again and again. We have an embargo on the Cuban Gov b/c the Communist Gov in Cuba wants to borrow money from America , and then never pay it back,in other words, Theywant us to pay for the communist system. Now, why We have to support the communism in Korea? No differences here.We have to
    point to China here, they are the ones that have the solution. This is China's baby.

    April 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  11. glenn.

    For close to 20 years, North Korea has acted like a spoiled child. The world at large, and particularly the U.S. and South Korea, have repeatedly appeased North Korea in order to stop the undesirable actions. As with a spoiled child, North Korea should have been punished from the beginning. Now, it may be too late. N.K. has learned that if it misbehaves, it gets its way. It is just repeating past successes. But now, even China is getting tired of the N.K. actions.
    Instead of diplomacy, we need to convince China that economically and in just about every other way, it is to their benefit to reel N.K. in, force a regime change, and start dealing with the new regime like we deal with other countries, which is like adults, not like a parent trying to use tough love to discipline a very spoiled child.

    April 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  12. Clark Frye

    Unfortunately, I disagree with Ms. Amanpour here. North Korea has been chronically belligerent in an attempt to bring us to the negotiating table. To engage in diplomacy now is to reward their strategy of belligerence. I'm all for diplomatic solutions, but we would have to do so in a way that doesn't set a precedent for future negotiations.

    April 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  13. Drew

    While discussion is looked at internationally as a sign of cooperation which would help legitimize the newest North Korea regime, discussion is imperative to making things better. This will lead to war if the US decides not to have discussions with North Korea. The best option might be for the US to send messages through China.

    April 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    "Deserve diplomacy"?

    We've been giving them diplomacy for decades, now. They pretended to play along and used it to stall for time while they developed a nuke. Diplomacy is a joke.

    April 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  15. History Buff

    We need to learn from history. Japan also got pissy with us because of what they thought to be unfair trade practices. Diplomacy was dissolved, and Japan ended up attacking us. They felt pushed into a corner by us. They felt they had little choice.

    Now – you have the UN and other allies, lead by the US, putting on sanctions against them. Yes - they are like an adolescent with bad parents, and we need to keep them from getting automatic weapons. It's the same type of behavior. But– if you continue to punish the child, and they have access to automatic weapons, the child will eventually lash out and kill someone.

    Learn from the past – figure out a different way to handle this situation. Don't let this idiot start tossing bombs, or the whole SE peninsula will be desamated.

    April 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  16. capnmike

    In a word, NO.

    April 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  17. alex

    why sanction on north corea why cos they want nuclear power like usa or india ,pakistan or china ,and nothing happens with the others why sanctions people they just dont know what's living in a country thets is impossible to have what we have in uk ,why sanctions live them in peace and nothing this was happening now ,so ones can other not why, for me is more risk pakistan tham n,corea ,, they are right to defend thenselves ,sanctions need to be over ..

    April 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Omer

    I think it would be the best solution to just talk with them. We have enough Wars or problems to work with at this point.

    I think we better call them and let them know that we are sorry and we can work this problem as long as they play by the role. we don't want war and I am 100% sure they don't want it as well or otherwise they would have had it long time ago.

    I am thinking they are just trying to show the world that they can stand up to us if they had to. I personally don't care if you from N.K or S.K we love you both so lets not fight 🙂

    April 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  19. dale zalewski

    Just ignore North Korea. Their leadership is a bunch of spoiled brats looking for attention. If we ignore them long enough, they'll go over the top and then we can let the gorilla out of the cage.

    April 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  20. charles scott

    Why has my president not publicly expressed his concern, actions, condemnations for the Korean Tension? Where is he?

    April 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  21. cbc

    Diplomacy is the answer. That diplomacy should consist of clearly delivering the message that we are not going to start a war with NK, but if NK fires one shot at a US or South Korean target, they have started the war and we will finish it. Without limits, without Chinese or UN permission and without delay.

    April 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  22. Ted

    Hey Amanpour – the brutal dictatoria Kim family does not care about their own people. How can you reason with them? Or you just want to be different like D. Rodman.

    April 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  23. Brian Hesse

    It`s time to finish the Korean War. 62 years is long enough to put up with a nation where its leaders are only concerned
    with making themselves wealth on the back of the starving N.Korean people. Granted that fiinally ending this WAR which it still is will come with a hugh price put, it is time and it is a must to finally finish this.

    April 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  24. Lil

    I would say live and let live -: just leave them alone to do whatever craziness they want. Except for the humanitarian issues that exist there. Sure, the free population of N Korea, who remains 'free' because of their blind loyalty to the regime, would be scared to death of the Western world, should they be liberated. But what about the rest of the population – those who live out their short and painful, malnourished lives in forced-labor camps, because they dared to express anything but love for their leader? Those people shouldn't be left to rot by the rest of the world...

    April 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  25. Derek C in Tennessee

    Why not send in some U-2s or RQ-4 Global Hawks for surveillance, find out where KJU is at any particular moment in time, then send in a couple of drones and take him out. Of course, if the NK military is so blinded with devout obediance to the regime, it might spark a war anyway. Regardless, diplomacy has been tried for decades and NK still doesn't listen. We have given them a lifetime worth of opportunities to be reasonable and now, I think, is the time to serve up some of our own doses of "reasoning."

    April 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  26. Teb

    I take a threat as intent. I believe that they should be told once, back down or we bomb you to oblivion. No second chances, no well maybe, do it and be done with it.

    April 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  27. Joe

    Why ask the question and not put a poll on the page? Tisk Tisk CNN

    April 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
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