South Korea's top national security advisor is in Washington for his first one-on-one meeting with his newly appointed U.S. counterpart.
Chung Eui-yong, the director of Seoul's National Security Office, made the surprise visit to the United States on Wednesday and had a preliminary meeting with Washington's National Security Council.
He's to meet U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Thursday -- only four days after Bolton took office.
The two officials are expected to discuss establishing a hotline between themselves as they prepare for their respective summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
It's known that Chung wished to meet with Bolton as soon as possible to continue on the close coordination he had with Bolton's predecessor H.R. McMaster.
Even more so as the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN is known for his hawkish views, recently even discussing the idea of a preventive strike against North Korea, whereas Seoul is adamantly opposed to any military confrontation on the Korean peninsula.
Moreover, the Trump administration wants to seal the denuclearization of North Korea in one single step, while the Moon administration believes that's a goal that can only be achieved gradually and in phases.
This is Chung's first trip to the U.S. since his visit to the White House as President Moon Jae-in's special envoy last month to brief President Trump on Kim Jong-un's willingness to hold a summit.
Attention falls on whether Seoul and Washington will be able to narrow down their differences on how to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula and draw a big picture on setting peace and stability in the region.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.