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[ISSUE TALK] Assessing the North Korea situation in the new year Updated: 2019-01-04 12:26:51 KST

For more, joining us now, we have with us Dr. Go Myong-hyun , a research fellow from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

1 - Do you agree that despite what both Kim Jong-un and President Trump have said, a second summit between the two leaders is still a long way off?

2 - What do the two sides need to offer to try and break the current deadlock?

3 - Perhaps Kim already gave a hint at the kind of thing he is looking for. He stated in his New Year's Day speech that he has intentions to resume the Gaesong industrial complex, and the Mt. Geumgangsan tour project, adding that he is willing to do it without, quote, "preconditions". What does he mean by "without preconditions"?

4 - The resumption of the Gaesong complex and Geumgangsan tours cannot currently take place because of international sanctions. How likely is that situation to change?

5 - During his speech, Kim also mentioned that North Korea needs to focus on producing electricity, and he listed various means, such as hydro, tidal, wind and coal but he also mentioned nuclear energy. Although he has mentioned nuclear power in the past, it is the first time it has been mentioned since he declared he would be giving up the regime's nuclear weapons program. Do you think the mentioning of nuclear power was deliberate?

6 - South Korea's unification minister has pointed out that we need to watch whether North Korea mentions nuclear power in future denuclearization talks. What does he mean by this?

7 - North Korea's right to the peaceful use of nuclear power was mentioned in the 2005 denuclearization deal that was reached during the six party talks, which involved the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan. With this mentioning of nuclear power again, what do you think the international community's reaction will be this time?

8 - North Korea's main state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun ran a commentary criticizing the U.S. for interfering in inter-Korean relations and hindering joint projects, such as the inter-Korean rail and road reconnection project. Why do you think they have released this commentary now? Can it be linked to the Gaesong / Mt Geumgangsan project issues as well?

9 - Do you think there can be hopes towards making something happen on the rail and road reconnection project this year? Are the sanctions too stringent for us to expect anything substantial?

10 - Meanwhile, it's being reported that a North Korean diplomat has gone missing in Italy-- the charge d'affaires of the North's embassy in Rome, Jo Song-gil. There are some reports saying that he is seeking asylum, but an Italian government official has also been quoted as saying that is not the case. What do you make of this situation and what would it mean if it did turn out to be true?
Reporter : kwon@arirang.com
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