The Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) under the National Intelligence Service made a forecast that North Korea may announce the closure of denuclearization negotiations between the U.S. and the North at the fifth plenary meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea to be convened at the end of this month unless a dramatic shift is achieved in the denuclearization talks.
The prediction by the INSS was shared at the “assessment of 2019 and forecast for 2020” press briefing on Friday at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul. The INSS emphasized the need to pay attention to North Korea’s announcements on the U.S. stating that the “Christmas gift,” which is a phrase used in North Korea’s threats, may be verbal threats, rather than military provocations.
“Based on the messages delivered by North Korea in recent days, it may try to discontinue the denuclearization talks with the U.S. while shifting the focus to nuclear disarmament,” a member of the INSS further explained.
The INSS said it is likely that the U.S. and North Korea may meet at Panmunjom during nominee for deputy secretary of state Stephen Biegun visits Seoul on Sunday but not much can be expected as a result. “North Korea is hesitant to discontinue the conversations with the U.S. North Korea will be held more responsible if it rejects the U.S.’ gesture for conversation,” said Lee Soo-hyung, the head of academic collaboration at the institute. “It is highly likely that the U.S. and North Korea will meet but it is too much to expect the bilateral relations to suddenly warm up as a result of the meeting.”
While the relations between South Korea and North Korea seem to remain at a standstill for a while, it was suggested that meetings between military representatives of the South and the North may be suggested to reduce the inter-Korean military tensions. “Ri Son Kwon, the chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, and Kim Song Hye, the head of the Secretarial Bureau of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, may be seen next year,” said principal researcher Kim Il-gi adding that the committee’s next chairman may be appointed in April next year.
Na-Ri Shin firstname.lastname@example.org