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S. Korea tries to convince U.S. amid stall in talks

Posted February. 12, 2020 08:02,   

Updated February. 12, 2020 08:02


The nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea are losing momentum as U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly expressed his unwillingness to have the third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before the November 10 presidential election. CNN reported Monday local time that President Trump said he did not want another summit with Kim. Although the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae plans to convince President Trump through a bilateral summit, experts predict that the tide is unlikely to be turned.

“It appears that Washington and Pyongyang are trying to read the situation,” said a source from Cheong Wa Dae. “It is likely that the two nations will not take any action in the near future.”

The South Korean government is considering how to meet the unexpected challenge. Some are arguing for a summit with the United States. Kim Hyun-jong, the deputy national security advisor, and Choi Jong-gun, the secretary to President Moon for peace planning, recently had meetings with their U.S. counterparts in Washington D.C. The South Korean government is reportedly looking at the timing as President Trump has began his re-election campaign.

Others are voicing concerns that North Korea, which has been asking the United States for “top-down” negotiations, might resume missile tests. According to Aircraft Spots, a website that monitors military air movements, U.S. Navy P-3C flew over South Korea after Washington detected suspicious activities at Pyongyang’s submarine bases that involve submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).

Meanwhile, Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Alex Wong came to South Korea for a working-level talk and met with Choi Yeong-jun, policy bureau chief at the Unification Ministry, to discuss South Korea’s unilateral inter-Korean cooperation initiatives.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com