Nuclear negotiations are unlikely to be on the table as North Korea blows hot and cold over US-South Korea war games due later this month.
The following regions and issues are among those critical to both short- and long-term US interests. They should draw greater US attention and diplomatic efforts.
Until he executed his powerful uncle last month, Kim 'could call up Dennis Rodman but he couldn't call up military strikes,' says one observer. Now concern is rising about the secretive leader.