American diplomat and former U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy, Joseph Yun, stressed the need for dialogue between Pyeongyang and Washington based on what has been already achieved.
Appearing on Arirang TV on Wednesday in a program with the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Yun advised the Biden administration to consider how they can use the 2018 Singapore joint statement to their benefit.
"My hope is that the Biden administration don't disown everything that Trump did. There are many things that Trump did right. And I think part of his North Korea policy is correct, which is to engage North Korea in a different way."
On North Korea's lack of recent military provocations, Yun commented that Pyeongyang may be signaling that it's open for talks with the Biden administration.
For the South Korean government, Yun advised Seoul to play a greater role to manage stability on the peninsula, and not to disengage with the U.S.
The diplomat also touched upon restoring Seoul-Tokyo ties under the Biden administration which prefers trilateral cooperation with the U.S. allies.
And because of that, he said, Biden would be different from his predecessor.
"Incredibly difficult to try to get Japanese and South Koreans to agree on some history issues which have really been doggedly bothering each many generations for decades. But I do think the more Washington pays attention to these issues, the better the relationship between South Korea and Japan."
On the U.S.-China rivalry, Yun said there is a "competitive agenda", including trade, sensitive technology and issues on Hong Kong and Taiwan, but at the same time, there is some room for cooperation, on which South Korea should focus.
"South Korea should join, of course, be a leader in the cooperative agenda, on pandemics, on climate change and then have a special role to play on bringing about China and the U.S. on North Korea issue."
With both competition and cooperation likely, he stressed that Seoul should adopt a flexible strategy in approaching Washington and Beijing, adding diplomacy is not about being forced with "black and white options".
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.