So, is the U.S. adopting a new approach to nuclear-armed Pyeongyang to try and bring it back to the negotiations table?
For an expert's view, we're joined live by Andrei Lankov, Director of Korea Risk Group, NK news and Professor of Korean studies at Kookmin University.
Professor Lankov, thank you for joining us.
It looks like Washington and Pyeongyang are at the closest point toward dialogue since Biden took office, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's comments that he is ready for "dialogue and confrontation" just in time for President Biden's new chief nuclear envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim's five-day visit to Seoul this week.
Still, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington would need a direct and clear response from Pyeongyang expressing its willingness for talks. Is there a new approach adopted by the Biden administration?
In your perspective, what are North Korea's conditions for dialogue at this point, and would the U.S. be willing meet those conditions to hold talks with North Korea? What would move Kim Jong-un to come to meet Sung Kim and his team for talks?
Sung Kim has said that he has no plans to contact North Korean officials during his visit. But, he did offer to meet with North Korea anytime, anywhere without any preconditions. How do you assess the possibility of the U.S. and North Korea making contacts below surface to arrange talks?
How do you see the outcome of S. Korea-U.S-Japan trilateral nuclear talks and the level of the three nations' cooperation against North Korea threats?
S. Korea-U.S. joint military drills will take place in August. Do you expect North Korea to carry out another provocation in protest against the drills, and perhaps to gain an upperhand before talks begin with Washington?
Professor Andrei Lankov joining us tonight. Thank you, as always, for your expertise.