To further discuss these latest developments, we have with us Dr. Bong Young-shik, from the Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies. It's great to have you with us again.
1 - Monday's high-level talks between the two Korea's will be the fourth of its kind this year but it's the first time it has been proposed by the North. What do you make of that?
2 - They've also revealed that the subject of the talks will be the proposed third summit between President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un. Was that a surprise and where and when do you think it could take place?
2a - Do you think it is perhaps too early for an inter-Korean summit? The question is what will they talk about, and what progress can they really make?
3 - Talks between the U.S. and North Korea have stalled in recent weeks. Do you think this potential inter-Korean summit is being arranged to try and address that? Do you think it could act as a breakthrough?
4 - Do you think that it could lead towards a second North Korea-U.S. summit?
5 - The other main agenda, we can expect, is the issue of working towards an agreement to formally end the Korean War. It is something that North Korea has been repeatedly calling for. The U.S. has said that kind of agreement can only be reached when the North Korea denuclearizes. What do you think President Moon can do try and close the difference between the two sides?
6 - One issue that Seoul is currently in a bit of sticky situation over is that ships that allegedly carried illegal North Korean coal had visited South Korea. Now the government has now admitted there was a problem and that 3 South Korean firms shipped in North Korean coal and iron ore last year, motivated by financial reasons. i.e. it was cheap. Now this is problematic for South Korea because that means South Korea could be in violation of UN sanctions, which would be quite embarrassing. Do you think this will become a big problem with the U.S.?
7 - On September 9th North Korea celebrates the 70th Day of the Foundation of its Republic. But reports have emerged that a military parade is being readied. In the past these kinds of parades have been a chance for the North to show off its military hardware, but the reports do say that it looks like no intercontinental ballistic missile launch vehicles are being readied. Do you think it will be different this time?
8 - The U.S. also did reveal that in a recent letter sent to Kim Jong-un, President Trump offered to send Pompeo back to Pyongyang for further talks. Do you think that could happen side-by-side, while arrangements for the inter-Korean summit are being held? Do you think it will happen before or after the inter-Korean summit?
9 - The U.S. State Department revealed on Thursday that they are in almost daily contact with North Korea via phone, message and email. Would you have expected that to be the case?