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Top U.S. officials have said repeatedly that America is seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis with North Korea. But President Donald Trump's insulting comments toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appear to have made such a negotiated settlement more difficult.Experienced Korea watchers believe that Trump's threats have deepened Kim's resistance to concessions, and that the Korean leader is unlikely to back down in the faceoff with Washington. By responding personally to Trump's bluster and issuing his own counterthreats, Kim has attached his personal prestige and his family's demigod status to the confrontation.Any benefits of Trump's unpredictability were probably erased by threats to obliterate North Korea and its leaders if they remain defiant.Korea watchers stress that for 70 years, North Korea's identity has been that of a defiant small country, armed to the teeth, that survives by not giving in to any outside threat.What road map might allow the U.S. and North Korea to move away from the brink?
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