Speaking with EU representatives earlier this week, President Moon Jae-in said there needs to be another summit between Pyeongyang and Washington, before the U.S. presidential election later this year.
Coming with that proposal are reports that Washington's envoy on North Korea and the Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Biegun, may be making his way to Seoul, for possible contact with the North.
This is only several days after Biegun himself said that another North Korea-U.S. summit seems impossible before November.
Are efforts underway to resume long-stalled denuclearization talks?
For more on this, we have Balazs SZALONTAI, Professor of North Korean Studies at Korea University here with us in the studio.
Welcome to our program.
While President Moon Jae-in floated the idea of holding another North Korea-U.S. summit before November this year, U.S. top point-man for North Korea Stephen Biegun has said pretty recently that it's unlikely there will be another such summit. He said it's quite difficult to imagine that happening amid the coronavirus outbreak. What do you make of such different views from Seoul and Washington?
The second summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un ended with no deal and with the two sides struggling in their working-level negotiations that followed. Holding a third North Korea-U.S. summit would of course be ideal, but there needs to be a lot of preparations to make it successful. What should the two sides work on first? And if the summit does happen, what should Trump and Kim focus on?
Do you think it's possible that there could be some secret contact going on between the two Koreas and the U.S. to set up further nuclear dialogue?
Though it is not so clear as to when this will happen, there are reports that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun is visiting South Korea quite soon, probably next week, to meet with the North at Panmunjeom and deliver Trump's message. Nothing is confirmed yet -- but how likely do you see Biegun's trip to Panmunjeom happening?
Is North Korea ready? All these developments are taking place not long after North Korea blew up the inter-Korean liaison office and threatened further military actions, though all that was suspended by leader Kim Jong-un. Many saw that these actions were to draw attention, not only from South Korea, but also from the U.S. Do you think the North may have wanted President Moon Jae-in to publicly suggest another North Korea-U.S. summit?
Speaking of North Korea's recent provocations we also want to talk about other regional players. How do you think these actions were received by China? Do you think North Korea had China in mind when making these provocations?
What about Japan?
President Moon has set a deadline of the U.S. presidential election in November because nobody can project the results of the election which could then have a big influence on whether nuclear negotiations could continue in the coming years. Could you tell us more about this?
Deep insights into diplomacy in and around the Korean Peninsula, thank you professor for your comments today, we really appreciate it.