On CNN Opinion, I expand my point on how the United States and North Korea can potentially be friends:
In short, North Korea is in serious need of a military and economic counterweight against China -- and the United States can serve in that capacity. True, it is distasteful to be friends with a regime responsible for massive human rights violations. Yet pragmatism is a long-standing tradition in US foreign relations. Just consider that Mao Zedong was on the short list of the history's greatest monsters, but Richard Nixon shook his hand. Pragmatists would look beyond the present conditions and examine how a friendly relationship with North Korea would serve the long-term US national interest. With the rise of China, East Asia is far and away the most important region in the world for the United States. If the US could count North Korea as a friend, it would be adding a friendly state located at the doorstep of China.
As James Clapper said, the United States has no permanent enemies. It would be worth remembering that as we approach the historical summit with North Korea.