Now it’s time for On Point, where we speak to experts to delve deeper into the biggest news stories in the spotlight right now.
Senior diplomats from South Korea and China met in the Chinese city of Tianjin late last week to discuss, among other things, President Moon Jae-in’s proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950 to 1953 Korean War.
South Korea’s presidential office said that, during their meeting, South Korean national security adviser Suh Hoon was able to extract a degree of support for the proposal out of China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi.
China's Foreign Ministry mentioned the meeting didn’t directly touch upon the proposed declaration, merely noting Yang hoped Seoul and Beijing “will keep playing a constructive role in realizing long-term stability on the peninsula.”
For more, we are joined by Professor Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Professor of International Relations at Kings College London. Good morning.
Firstly, the statements put out by Seoul and Beijing appear at odds with each other. Do you think China is genuinely interested in President Moon’s proposed declaration?
And, since Seoul wanted to get the leaders together in China for a signing ceremony, does the U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics make that idea dead in the water?
The two sides also discussed a possible trip to South Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, considering Xi hasn’t left China since the pandemic began, do you expect it to materialize or is the best Seoul can hope for… a virtual summit?
Since we are in the tail end of the Moon Jae-in administration, how would you rate South Korea’s handling of North Korea over the past four-and-a-half years?
Finally, North Korea has a big meeting later this month to discuss plans for the New Year. North Korea is facing a mountain of internal issues, perhaps most acutely, a shortage of food. International agencies have been sounding the alarm. Do you expect this to be top of the agenda and even if the North does rally its officials to do something - is it likely to be too little… too late?
Thanks for your insights That was Professor Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Professor of International Relations at Kings College London, on the latest state of play on the Korean Peninsula.