WASHINGTON — Sometimes diplomacy is the art of going in two directions at once, and the Trump administration seems to have chosen that sweet spot of ambiguity, for now, in managing its continuing confrontation with North Korea.
President Trump has paused his “Little Rocket Man” rhetoric and boasts about the size of his own nuclear button. He’s insisting this week that talk of a U.S. military strike (which he had encouraged) is “completely wrong,” and calling for discussions with North Korea “under the right circumstances.”
A fragile detente seems to have begun. North Korea hasn’t tested weapons in more than a month and is talking to the South. North Korean athletes and spectators will attend the Pyeongchang Olympics. The U.S. has delayed scheduled military exercises until after the last gold medal is awarded. Call it speed-skater diplomacy, if you like; but the table for negotiations has at least been set.
Trump administration diplomacy is like the oft-quoted description of New England weather: If you don’t like it,…