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[Issue talk] President Moon to wrap up ASEAN trip on Saturday Updated: 2019-03-15 12:45:51 KST

For more, we have Professor Kim Hyun-wook from the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, joining me in the studio today.
Welcome to the program.

The president's trip came after the second summit between North Korea and the U.S. came to a close with no deal reached. Could we say that the visit this time had more importance not only on the economic front, but also on the diplomatic and security front?

What sort of backing or cooperation can the Southeast Asian nations give in order keep the denuclearization talks alive?

The first leg of President Moon's trip was Brunei. There he also called for Brunei's continued support to establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Moon has also stressed the importance of ASEAN countries in ridding North Korea of its nuclear ambitions. (All 10 members of ASEAN have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang) What significance does this have?

His second stop was Malaysia. The country had maintained friendly ties with North Korea prior to the assassination of the North Korean leader's half-brother Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.
An Indonesian suspect has been released, but the Malaysian government refused the request to release a Vietnamese suspect.. Do you think anything like this would have been brought up?

How do you see diplomatic relations between Malaysia and North Korea? And what will the release of a suspect mean for North Korea's actions in the future?

Now asides from the diplomatic issues, we can't leave out economic agendas. South Korea will push for a free trade deal with Malaysia, while Seoul has agreed step up economic cooperation with the ASEAN countries.
What will this mean for the South Korean economy?

While in Malaysia, President Moon stressed that if there's denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, new opportunities will open up and will aid economic cooperation between Seoul and ASEAN member nations. It comes at a time when the U.S. has been very firm on its stance of no lifting of sanctions, and pushing ahead with inter-Korean economic cooperation. Now Seoul is calling for international efforts. How do you see Moon's approach?

South Korea and the U.S. had a working-group session in Washington on Thursday, their first face-to-face since the Hanoi summit ended prematurely. Do you think it was a chance for Seoul to get an idea of how Washington plans to proceed on the denuclearization agenda with North Korea?

The two sides have reached a decision on a sanctions waiver, that's essential for video reunions of separated families from the two Koreas. The UN Security Council last week approved a sanctions exemption, allowing shipments of equipment such as fiber-optic cables and cameras to the North.
What impact do you think this can have on denuclearization talks?

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to pressure North Korea. Biegun met with the members of the UN Security Council, and discussed the sanctions issue. Biegun was said to have reaffirmed that the sanctions remain imposed on the regime, until it comes out to denuclearize. What sort of response do you see coming from North Korea's part?

Now we're getting reports that North Korea is considering suspending denuclearization talks with the U.S.
Russian news agency TASS reported the news on Friday, quoting Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui as saying that Pyeongyang has no intentions to yield to the U.S. demands. What did you make of her remarks?

It comes at a time when the U.S. keeps adding pressure on North Korea for a one-go deal.
Choe said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set to make an official statement soon to lay out the the next moves the regime will take following the summit breakdown. What can we expect?

Thank you for your insights.
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