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Pyongyang in standoff with Washington over nuclear talks

Pyongyang in standoff with Washington over nuclear talks

Posted August. 15, 2018 07:24,   

Updated August. 15, 2018 07:24


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is trying to push forward a denuclearization negotiation between North Korea and the United States, which is currently at a standstill, is known to have failed to find a right balance for his visit to North Korea. Pompeo’s period of visit to the North is unclear as North Korea has not revealed whether its leader Kim Jong Un will meet Pompeo. Accordingly, this is inflicting a linkage effect, leaving South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae unable to determine the date for inter-Korean summit at Pyongyang in September, which is regarded as a pump for negotiation on denuclearization.

A key source from Washington said at a phone call with a Dong-A Ilbo reporter on Monday (local time), “The Trump administration believes that it may all the more inflict a negative effect to negotiations if Secretary of State Pompeo visits North Korea without finalizing a meeting with Kim Jong Un while North Korea is refusing advanced measures for denuclearization.” This implies that despite the fact that Trump and Kim agreed on Pompeo’s visit to the North through exchanging personally handwritten letters, Pyongyang is still avoiding “denuclearization talks that Kim attends,” which Washington desires to have.

South Korea President Moon Jae-in, who sought to make a driving force for negotiations over denuclearization, is losing ground as such standstill between North Korea and the United States continuing through the latter half of this year. Unlike Cheong Wa Dae’s intention, the third inter-Korean talk since President Moon took office was has been delayed to after mid-September as both North Korea and the United States called out N. Korea–U.S. talk first. The U.S. Department of State told Voice of America on Monday, "Sanctions will remain in full effect should North Korea fail to denuclearize.”

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com · Jeong-Hun Park sunshade@donga.com