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[ISSUE TALK] North Korea expands its nuclear weapons program while continuing talks Updated: 2018-12-06 12:19:58 KST

Joining us now for further analysis on this story, we have Dr. Go Myong-hyun from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

1 - According to this report North Korea is continuing to expand its nuclear program, despite promises made by Kim Jong-un. Let me first get your reaction to this report. How credible is this information and are you surprised at all?

2 - When previous reports like this have come out, U.S. President Donald Trump has said his administration has been aware of such facilities and this does not change anything. Can we expect a similar response?

2a - Do you think it adds pressure to the Trump administration and its negotiations with North Korea?

3 - Although negotiations have been at a standstill for a while between North Korea and the U.S., perhaps there was a small breakthrough over the last few days. Reports have said the CIA Korea Mission Center chief, Andrew Kim, met with a North Korean official at Panmunjeom on Monday. This has not been officially confirmed, and the reports do vary in detail, but it looks like some sort of meeting might have taken place. What do we know about this meeting?

4 - Meanwhile, North Korean's foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, has been busy with his own diplomatic tour of nations. He's visited Syria and Vietnam over the last few days, and now he's in China, meeting with Beijing officials. Where does China's relationship with North Korea currently stand, especially as negotiations between Pyeongyang and Washington are ongoing?

5 - On the other side, South Korea's foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, is meeting with her U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the U.S. today as well. What do you think will be on the agenda for their meeting?

6 - Rumours continue to circulate that Kim Jong-un could visit Seoul before the end of the year. Seoul has officially denied there is anything confirmed, and this was stressed again by the Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Wednesday who said there are no sufficient signs yet on either side to say when Kim will visit. But there's no smoke without fire, as they say. Do you think Kim could really visit Seoul before the end of the year? And if not, where do you think this speculation is coming from?

7 - Do you think it is realistic to expect Kim to visit before the North Korea-U.S. summit takes place? Can Kim's visit to Seoul be separated from the regime's denuclearization process?

8 - South Korea's inspectors went to North Korea over the last week to inspect North Korea's railway lines, specifically the western Gyeongui-line. They reported that the conditions of the rail line have not deteriorated much over the past 10 years, but that more surveys will be needed. Another inspection will take place later this week on the Eastern Donghae-line. But what is your take-away so far from these inspections?
Reporter : kwon@arirang.com
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