It has been exactly one year since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump met in Singapore for the first ever talks between the leaders of their two countries. The historic summit somewhat helped improve their bilateral ties, but there have been ups and downs as their second summit in Hanoi ended with no deal in February. Some experts have pointed to the lack of progress between Pyeongyang and Washington when asked about how far both sides have come in terms of denuclearization.
"As far as I know, they haven't dismantled any missiles and people believe, what you read, in the failing New York Times and elsewhere they actually increased fissile missile production. So it seems like North Korean nuclear program is either static or advanced. So, no denuclearization today at all."
Mr. King also said the definition of denuclearization differs between North Korea and the U.S., which makes it difficult for the both sides to reach an agreement.
"Kim apparently wants some denuclearization in exchange for effectively complete sanctions relief and Trump, to his credit, now wants complete denuclearization of North Korea. () So until we bridge that gap, I don't see any real progress."
On Tuesday, Trump said he had received a (quote) "beautiful letter" from Kim, raising hopes of another Kim-Trump summit. The expert said he was positive when it comes to future talks as Trump can use the talks for political purposes ahead of the presidential election.
"I definitely expect the third summit, probably before the U.S. election so that Trump can again badmouth his predecessors, and say that he has done what no other U.S. president has done."
However, he also said there is (quote) "a parallel universe" for North Korea policies inside the White House, hinting at some gap between President Trump and the rest of his government officials.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.