North Korea

North Korea May Be Ready to Talk

Despite rhetoric indicating otherwise

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Government officials and security analysts in the region say North Korea is scaling back its threat-making campaign and showing signs that it wants to reduce tensions with South Korea and the United States.

The assessment, gaining popularity among policymakers in recent days, does not mean that North Korea will soon agree to talks, or that the long-term threat posed by its weapons program has been in any way tamed. But officials say they are encouraged by a shift over the last week in Pyongyang's state-issued rhetoric, which, though still venomous, now includes hints about reconciliation.