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ON POINT: Expert analysis of ongoing diplomatic efforts with North Korea
Updated: 2021-10-19 05:44:53 KST
Now it's time for On Point, where we speak to experts to dig deeper into the biggest news stories in the spotlight right now.
Despite North Korea's apparent reluctance to engage in talks with anyone apart from its only real ally, China, North Korea-related diplomacy continues apace.
On Monday, the intel chiefs of South Korea and the U.S. met privately in Seoul for talks that presumably revolved around the North and other related issues.
Their counterpart from Japan set to join them in the coming hours.

For more, we are joined on Skype by Professor Ramon Pacheco Pardo,
Professor of International Relations at Kings College London and the author of the book 'North Korea-U.S. Relations from Kim Jong-il to Kim Jong-un.'
Professor, we hear the intel chief from Japan will join his South Korean and U.S. counterparts soon. Given the regime's missile launches in recent weeks and its lack of response to Washington's efforts to reach out, can we speculate on what specifically they might discuss and is there any significance to the timing of the meeting?

The Seoul meeting came a matter of hours before the chief nuclear envoys of the three sides met in Washington on Monday so it fair to say the three sides are pushing hard to coax the North back to talks. What incentives do you think the North wants before it says OK to talks?

Now in terms of Washington's North Korea policies, its been around ten months since the Biden Administration took office but it seems like Pyeongyang is still hesitant to talk to the current administration. How do you rate his North Korea policy to that of his predecessor?

Finally, the Pentagon has released an assessment saying it's highly unlikely North Korea will ever surrender its nuclear weapons - calling them the bargaining chip considered vital by the regime to its very survival. Given that's hardly groundbreaking news, are the endless meetings, bilateral and trilateral talks really nothing more than reaffirming the same positions and kicking the can down the road?

Thanks for your insights You look forward to speaking to you again in the future.
Reporter :