Korea Talks: Warm Front Before Winter Games

By John McLaughlin

John E. McLaughlin is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  He served as Acting Director of Central Intelligence from July to September 2004 and as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from October 2000 to July 2004. He was a US Army Officer in the 1960s, with service in Vietnam.

North and Sound Korea have held their first high-level meeting in two years – agreeing to send North Korean athletes to the upcoming Olympics in the South Korean resort of Pyeonchang — and to reopen a military hotline.

It’s a welcome warming to the nuclear chill on the Korean Peninsula, thanks to the rhetorical smack down over the size of nuclear buttons in Washington and Pyongyang. The Cipher Brief asked John McLaughlin, former acting director of the CIA, to opine on the art of the possible, adapting the conversation below.

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