The North Korean regime, many analysts argue, is not quite as crazy as it seems. There is a logic behind its behaviour and there are things that it wants. A peace deal on the Korean peninsula; economic development; a commitment by the US not to seek regime change; these are all the potential currency for diplomatic exchanges in the future.
This, as ever, is a problem with few good alternatives on offer. The goal needs to be to avoid the very worst outcomes and to favour the least bad. Diplomacy, coercion, sanctions, deterrence, all have a part to play.
The question remains whether this US administration is capable of rising to the challenge and whether the North Korean regime is prepared genuinely to bargain if it were to receive tangible gains.