North Korea continues to step up its harsh rhetoric following the breakdown of working level talks on denuclearization with the U.S.
The regime has also aired a documentary highlighting its intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
On the other hand, the U.S. keeps its calm -- with no particular message coming from President Trump either.
Today we go in-depth into the negotiating strategies of the two sides, and whether the talks will stay on track.
For that, I'm joined by Dr. Kim Joon-hyung -- chancellor of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in the studio.
Welcome to the program!
Working level talks between North Korea and the U.S. came to a close bearing no fruit. Some have said that North Korea actually wanted the talks to break down. Was this something you expected? What was your overall assessment of the talks in Sweden?
What's important now is how the two sides are able to narrow their differences, let alone compromise on either sides' demands -- to work towards the eventual goal of denuclearization. While Pyeongyang continues to blame Washington for the breakdown, the regime has aired a lengthy documentary highlighting its various ICBM launches over the past couple of years.
What message to do you think the North is trying to send?
Earlier this week, EU members of the UN Security Council issued a joint resolution -- condemning North Korea's latest missile launch as a clear violation of UN resolutions and urging the regime to engage in meaningful negotiations with the U.S.
Prior to that, North Korea's Ambassador to the UN (Kim Song) had warned the U.S. that discussing the North's self-defense measures will only increase its desire to defend sovereignty.
What response to do you see coming from Pyeongyang?
(Will the latest UN resolution impact the denuclearization talks in any way?)
U.S. President Trump has been keeping pretty quiet on North Korea since the breakdown of the talks. No tweets on North Korea. But Trump hasn't been too bothered by the North's short range missile launches.
Do you think he'll be bothered by the UNSC resolution?
Why do you think he's maintaining his calm? (Is it because of the domestic political situation?
The breakdown in working level talks also puts the brakes on other related agendas. There was speculation over another summit between Pyeongyang and Washington before the year's end, as well as anticipation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could make a visit to South Korea to attend the special ASEAN summit. Is this all pretty much on hold now or is there still hope? Your take?
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said back in April that he will wait until the end of the year for a courageous decision from the U.S. With just over two months left, do you see the two sides bringing anything new to the negotiating table?
Some have said that North Korea isn't really interested in working level talks and would rather have the summit. With the firing of National Security Advisor John Bolton -- known for his hawkish approach on North Korea -- and Robert O'Brien joining the team -- do you expect a better chance?
Given the no-deal Hanoi summit, what sort of concessions will we need from either side for any sort of progress? (The North said denuclearization talks will take place when threats to regime security and obstacles to its economic development are clearly removed.)
Back here on the peninsula, there were hopes that if the working level talks went well it could reignite inter-Korean agendas. But clearly that's not the case, for now at least. Seoul has been playing a facilitator role -- but it appears that we may need a new approach as well. Seoul's top nuclear envoy was in Washington to meet with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts. While not much is known about the meetings, what do you think should be the role of South Korea at this moment?
Let's take a look at the neighboring countries -- North Korea's long-time ally China has called on both sides to continue talks, urging each side to have patience. Meanwhile the North's number two in command Choe Ryong-hae has met with a Russian media delegation -- an unusual move seen as reflecting the tightening relations between the two countries.
Do you think that China and Russia could be variables in the denuclearization talks?