Time for a New Approach to a New North Korea
Forget isolation, let's try outreach: Nicholas Kristof
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2011 12:58 PM CST
In this Dec. 20 image made from television, Kim Jong Un, center, greets mourners.   (AP Photo/KRT)

(Newser) – North Korea's change in leadership provides the US a chance to rethink its Pyongyang strategy, which might actually be backfiring, writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. Our sanctions have isolated the country, but that isolation has helped the Kims keep their grip on power. And in a nation where the government pumps propaganda into homes via built-in loudspeakers that can't be shut off, it would be a mistake to underestimate the depth of people's loyalty, he adds.

What to do? Learn a lesson from China, for one thing. "Let's take advantage of the leadership transition to try a dose of outreach," writes Kristof. "If we can inch toward diplomatic relations, trade, and people-to-people exchanges, we’re not rewarding a monstrous regime. We just might be digging its grave." Full column here. Or click to read about how North Korea already is starting the Kim Jong Un myths.