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Dennis P. Halpin
Dennis P. Halpin, a former Foreign Service Officer and senior Congressional staff, is a consultant on Asian issues.
In January 2009, in his first inaugural address, Barack Obama famously directed these words to adversaries of the United States, including North Korea: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
Pyongyang responded in the first months of the new administration with a series of provocations, throwing any potential future negotiations off track. Washington’s North Korea diplomacy in the Obama era never fully recovered.