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Finding a way to restore the souring U.S.-N. Korea relationship

Finding a way to restore the souring U.S.-N. Korea relationship

Posted April. 11, 2019 07:32,   

Updated April. 11, 2019 07:32


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “tyrant,” revealing that the U.S. government will maintain maximum pressure on North Korea through sanctions until it reaches a “big deal.” Meanwhile, Kim stressed the significance of self-rehabilitation with a mentioning of “political tensions.”

Asked if he agrees that Kim Jong Un is a “tyrant” at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday (local time), Secretary Pompeo said “yes.”

Pompeo also said “yes” to a question whether Washington will continue to maintain maximum economic pressure during negotiations, answering that the goal of negotiations with North Korea is to ensure final, fully verified denuclearization (FFVD), greater peace and reduced risk from North Korea in conventional measures. South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae has stressed on multiple occasions that it is necessary to come up with detailed denuclearization measures and the following rewards, focusing on accelerating a “good enough deal.” Nevertheless, Washington still pursues a “big deal.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered top-ranking officials to react to political tensions based on the spirits of revolution - creativity, self-rehabilitation and perseverance - so that they can come up with a new strategic front for the party at a full meeting of a top committee of the ruling Workers' Party on Tuesday, according to reports from North Korea’s Chosun Central News Agency next day. His message seems to imply that North Korea does not intend to make concession to the United States, focusing on self-rehabilitation as the Trump administration presses North Korea with sanctions. The North’s state news outlet added that the party decided to have a full meeting of the central committee on Wednesday to discuss and decide the direction forward and the related measures.

Meanwhile, there is only growing burden on the shoulders of South Korean President Moon Jae-in as he has left for the United States to help resume the inter-Korean dialogue and the U.S.-North Korea talks. In particular, concerning voices are saying that it becomes harder to induce Washington’s compromise plan as the U.S. government and public have not lowered their mistrust of North Korea. Regarding the issue, it has been said that Secretary Pompeo avoided a meeting with South Korean National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon when the director visited the United States last month after the Hanoi talks ruptured. Some critics have pointed out that intelligence cooperation between Seoul and Washington may have been compromised even after the two nations worked closely in intelligence in preparations for the U.S.-North Korea summit talks.

Nevertheless, Cheong Wa Dae still has expectations about a message from U.S. President Donald Trump. The key lies in what initiative President Trump lays out during the talks with President Moon, and Washington also aspires to use the upcoming U.S.-South Korea summit talks as an opportunity to resume dialogue with Pyongyang.

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