Breakdown in Talks With North Korea Has US Diplomat Sounding Alarm on Capitol Hill: Sources

"The message from the U.S. government is, 'surrender without a fight or surrender with a fight,'" a U.S. official said.

North Korea is shunning talks with the United States after President Donald Trump's attacks on its leader, imperiling diplomatic efforts, multiple U.S. government and congressional officials told NBC News.

A top U.S. diplomat to North Korea, Joseph Yun, has been on Capitol Hill warning of the breakdown and enlisting help to persuade the Trump administration to prioritize diplomacy with Kim Jong Un over heated rhetoric that appears to be encouraging nuclear conflict, sources said.

Trump will make his first official trip to Asia next month, as tensions with North Korea are at an all-time high, and government officials worry that the risks of military action are high as well.

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"It is not so much that North Korea is shutting down, it's that the message from the U.S. government is, 'surrender without a fight or surrender with a fight,'" a U.S. official said.

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