Jean-Pierre Amet / Reuters

After repeatedly threatening war with North Korea and piling on new sanctions, the Trump administration has suddenly shifted to diplomacy, accepting (in theory) an invitation for Donald Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un. That about-face, the administration would argue, is the best chance to get North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons, or “denuclearize.”

It’s a good moment to review where the North Korean crisis stands. In today’s issue, we will: update you with the latest analysis from the newsroom; explain one of the key ethical challenges of reporting on a totalitarian state; and dive into the questions The Atlantic has been asking about North Korea for decades.

—Matt Peterson

What Does North Korea Really Want?

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