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Trump's impeachment trial and regional affairs
Updated: 2020-01-21 15:14:09 KST
U.S. President Trump's impeachment trial begins in the Senate on Tuesday, local time.
The White House, in its 171 page-long legal brief submitted to the senate, argued that the two impeachment articles against Trump are not sufficient for removing a president from office.
Calling for an immediate acquittal of Trump, the brief also pointed to Washington's North Korea policy and defense cost-sharing negotiations with South Korea as some of Trump's successful 'America first' foreign policy.
Today we go in-depth on the key points of President Trump's impeachment trial and the trial's impact on regional dynamics surrounding the Korean Peninsula.
For that, Dr. Bong Young-shik of the Yonsei University Institute for North Korean Studies joins me in the studio.

1. Trump faces two charges against him. He's accused of seeking help from the Ukrainian government to get himself re-elected in November. He has allegedly pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption charges against his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. What procedures are ahead in the course of the Senate trial regarding this article?

2. The biggest question right now is who will be testifying at the impeachment trial and John Bolton, former White House National Security Advisor, has said that he's willing to testify. Could you walk us through the key points of the impeachment trial?

3. Many remain skeptical on whether Trump would actually be removed from office as there are only 47 Democrats (against 53 Republicans) in the Senate. Most believe Tump will be cleared of the charges. Your thoughts?

4. In its 171 page-long legal brief, the White House has particularly pointed out that Trump "delivered fresh and successful approaches to foreign policy in a host of areas in Washington's relations with NATO, China, Israel and North Korea." How do you see this?

5. On the other hand, Trump also faces growing criticism from within the U.S. for his failure in policies towards Iran and North Korea. Could this and his impeachment procedures impact Trump's North Korea approach?

6. Speculations are mounting on how North Korea would be observing Trump's impeachment trial. Some pundits claim Kim Jong-un might be hoping for the re-election of Trump in November. Your thoughts?

7. The legal brief submitted by the White House also states that Washington's "Pauses on Foreign Aid Are Often Necessary and Appropriate" citing South Korea. Does this imply the U.S. sees stationing of American forces on the Peninsula as part of its military 'aid' to South Korea?

8. South Korea has decided to independently dispatch troops to the Strait of Hormuz, near Iran, to protect South Korean nationals and ships. But our forces won't be joining the U.S.-led coalition, the IMSC. Do you think the decision is in the best interest of South Korea?

9. The government says the deployment of South Korean troops to Hormuz was decided separately from pending military issues with the U.S. Do you think it will have any impact on the ongoing Seoul-Washington defense cost-sharing talks as well as South Korea's push for individual tours to North Korea?
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