“The scale of joint military drills has been adjusted for now but a window of opportunity (for North Korea to engage in dialogue) cannot be open indefinitely,” U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris said on Wednesday.
During a lecture hosted by the alumni association of Seoul National University’s Politics and Diplomacy Department, the U.S. ambassador was quoted as saying, “We cannot just be hopeful that diplomatic efforts will bear fruit. It is important that we prepare ourselves to respond immediately to all provocations by North Korea.” His remarks suggest that the U.S. and South Korea should brace for possible provocations by North Korea although U.S. President Donald Trump is showing his willingness to continue to talk to North Korea even after the collapse of the Hanoi summit by scaling down U.S.-ROK joint military drills.
“The U.S. and the international community have a mutual understanding on the meaning of Final, Fully Verified Denuclearization (FFVD),” said Harris. “Unfortunately, North Korea fell short of that expectation in Hanoi.” The U.S. ambassador went on to say that the U.S. expects South Korean President Moon Jae-in to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to return to the negotiating table with the commitment to fulfill FFVD. Washington wants Seoul to talk Pyongyang into accepting the “big deal” the Trump administration demands instead of the “good enough deal” the South Korean government suggested earlier.
Gi-Jae Han email@example.com · Na-Ri Shin firstname.lastname@example.org