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U.S. considers opening embassy, liaison office in Pyongyang

U.S. considers opening embassy, liaison office in Pyongyang

Posted April. 12, 2018 08:25,   

Updated April. 12, 2018 08:25


The Donald Trump administration is said to have begun to study incentives to be offered to North Korea at the upcoming summit with the North if Pyongyang takes concrete actions toward its denuclearization.

The United States has been opposing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s call for “progressive and synchronous” denuclearization measures, emphasizing “unconditional denuclearization.” As Washington has verified Kim’s commitment to denuclearization once again during the ongoing working-level contact with the North, the Trump administration appears to be discussing detailed action plans that would prompt Pyongyang to take substantial action to denuclearize.

According to multiple sources in the South Korean government, Washington is considering ways to achieve “partial normalization” of its relations with Pyongyang within this year if the Trump-Kim summit becomes successful. This suggests that as the North demanded that Washington provide a full guarantee of Pyongyang’s regime during the working-level contact, the Trump administration has started to study how it can ensure the guarantee.

It is said that the Trump administration has offered to open liaison offices in Pyongyang and Washington, start humanitarian aid to the North, and establish embassies in both countries. However, the option of economic assistance, including easing sanctions on the North, is said to have been excluded for now.

Reportedly, the U.S.-North Korea working-level contact, led by intelligence authorities of the two countries, is taking place in multiples places including Beijing, China and Sweden.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com