US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s much anticipated negotiations fell apart in Hanoi without yielding any substantial outcome on its nuclear program. The previous summit in Singapore had produced encouraging prospects and it was expected that both countries would head towards a tangible solution in the second one. However, expectations were too high. As the Hanoi summit ended without giving clue to a third one, there remains a deep anxiety and frustration amongst those residing in the Korean peninsula. The future doesn’t look bright and political tensions could further exacerbate the situation. The US and North Korea have certainly missed an ample opportunity to rectify past mistakes and everything seems to be back to square one. If the North Koreans don’t shun their aggressive posturing, the situation could potentially spiral out of control. The US may have made a grave mistake by hesitating to agree with North Korean demands for lifting all sanctions. Perhaps, a better strategy could’ve been sought with a room for some compromise, especially on the nuclear program that has remained a thorny issue formost US administrations that dealt with Pyongyang. If considering history, North Korea might avoid further talks with the US, which could be detrimental to the cause of regional peace and security. Nevertheless, it looks pertinent to keep the negotiations option on the table as a goodwill gesture. Perhaps, patience is the key to formulate a mutually beneficial peace plan. A mediator, in the form of China or other regional powers, is essential to bring Washington and Pyongyang closer to sorting out their issues The US must acknowledge that the Hanoi summit was a great failure and efforts should be made to resume diplomatic contact. Maybe a joint declaration in the foreseeable future could pave way for the much-sought stability in the Korean peninsula. Beijing’s role is significant in this regard since it has deeper ties with the Kim regime. It could play the role of a mediator and facilitate resumption of the much-needed talks with Washington. Beijing-based Global Times said that from North Korea’s perspective, Kim’s mere participation in the second summit demonstrated the country’s determination to denuclearise, and his willingness to shut down nuclear facilities in Pyongyang constituted a substantive step toward denuclearisation. North Korea conditioned to shun its program and allow international inspections if the US agreed to end economic sanctions. The North Koreans will likely devise their own strategies to prevent further expansion or reconstitution of the much-dreaded nuclear program. In lieu of that, their demand for economic revival and opening their state for trade with the outside world won’t be unreasonable. There are severe differences between North Korea and the US and without any third-party mediation, the situation would remain futile to resolve any further. Hence, a mediator, in the form of China or other regional powers,is essential to bring Washington and Pyongyang closer to sorting out their issues. The world has seen the horrors of past wars and conflicts and it has become imperative to contain such kind of political fallouts. The writer is a consultant at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad Published in Daily Times, March 13th 2019.