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29 experts forecast inter-Korean relations during Biden era

29 experts forecast inter-Korean relations during Biden era

Posted December. 26, 2020 08:55,   

Updated December. 26, 2020 08:55


Even after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated next year, the North Korean nuclear issue will remain an important item in Washington’s foreign affairs and national security agendas for Northeast Asia.

Scott Snyder, director of the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy at the Asia Foundation, published a book compiling articles by 29 experts in Korea and around the world. The book suggests that the Biden administration will in principle share the context on the effort to denuclearize North Korea with the Trump administration, but will reverse the approach from top-down to bottom-up. It further suggests that the Moon Jae-in administration of South Korea, which has about one more year in office, could accelerate its bid to improve inter-Korean relations, but Washington, which has urgent domestic issues including overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, could have a different perspective. Prof. Kim Sung-han, dean of the Korea University School of International Studies, predicts that negotiations could start through a phased approach rather than a comprehensive e approach.

The book also contains potential solutions to North Korean issues that remain unresolved, including whether it is right to respond to Pyongyang with tactical nuclear weapons, why the Kim Jong Un regime is obsessed with nuclear weapons despite the risk of international sanctions, and what intentions countries surrounding the Korean Peninsula have.

Seong-Taek Jeong neone@donga.com