North Korea announced Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The North’s Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim said the letter was interesting with a photo of him reading the letter. It seems that Pyongyang intends to highlight that it is wanted by the U.S. and China after Kim’s state visit to China.
Kim showed off his nation’s coordination with China by showing great hospitality while Xi Jinping stayed in North Korea. It ratcheted up the level of pressure by announcing that the North is backed by China. In the meantime, he exchanged letters with Trump and continued with the “top down” denuclearization negotiations. Heads of North Korea, China and the U.S. are waging a diplomatic war before the G20 summit to be held in Osaka, Japan on Friday.e
However, South Korea’s diplomatic relations with China, Japan and the U.S. are in the deadlock. South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae announced that President Moon Jae-in will have a summit with China, Russia, Canada and Indonesia during the G20 summit. It has been planning on Xi’s visit to South Korea, but the summit with Xi will be held in Japan instead of Seoul. A summit meeting with Japan is not included in the official announcement. Even if the two heads of state have a meeting, it would be an unofficial one.
South Korea is getting more isolated from the denuclearization talks. The Moon administration suggested the North to have a summit before Trump visits South Korea later this month, but Pyongyang has not responded. Despite its plan to arbitrate the U.S. and North Korea in denuclearization talks and devise creative arbitration strategies to promote negotiations, Seoul has little presence in the discussion. There is no progress in the relations between South Korea and Japan while North Korea keeps itself open to a summit with Japan. South Korea will lose more ground if it cannot expand its diplomatic horizons focusing too much on the inter-Korea relations. We should bear in mind that neglecting the situation would make it more difficult to invite North Korea to the dialogue we want.