The Obama administration is pinning its hopes on a change in leadership in Pyongyang will move talks off dead centre. The question then arises is the US willing to soften its harsh rhetoric and demands? GuamDiary cannot say for sure, but is not holding its breath that there will be some movement on outstanding issues.
North Korea has long wanted talks with no preconditions. It still does.
America negotiators bitterly complain that North Korea plays with cards close to their chest, finessing weaker cards more advantageously to the US players seemingly stronger hand.
A quick review of past negotiations show that the US 'team' is good at threats, sitting on its hands, and losing the initiative because 'skilled' negotiators are driven by a zealousness that blinds them to openings favourable to a solution which they would support.
Instead, 'team America' has done everything to ramp up tensions, and, yes, during the GW Bush administration pushed North Korea to explode a nuclear device which shifted the balance in negotiations to Pyongyang.
GuamDiary is not the only ones who have decried the US' dirt poor intelligence on the DPRK, even though it has with a large hand distributed millions to think tanks, scholars, journalist, and the like, to beef up its knowledge on North Korea. The results, alas, are spotty and the return on the dollar invested poor.
A 'breakthrough' of sorts might occur on 23 February, even then, the US has much work to do to quiet tensions it has encouraged allied that it is with a revanchist the South Korean regime of Lee Myung bak in South Korea. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.