Possibility of U.S.-North Korea dialogue opens

Feb 27, 2018, 08:53 am

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Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, looks at Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser, at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea on Sunday./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Choi Tae-beom

North Korea has expressed its willingness to hold talks with the United States in the wake of peaceful atmosphere created at the PyeongChang Olympics, opening up the door for dialogue between the two countries.

In addition to the possibility of U.S.-North Korea dialogue, the icy relations between the two Koreas that had been frozen for two years have now come to the point of exchanging opinions on the summit meeting. Many say that the government's plan to turn an Olympic truce into a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula has been realized considerably.
However, the government is yet placed in a tough situation as it needs to continue the improvement of the inter-Korean relations and mediate the U.S.-North Korea dialogue while drawing a change in North Korea's stance on denuclearization. After the Olympics, the government is expected to adjust its steering wheel of the Korean Peninsula issues and come forward to actively manage the situation.

The government expressed Monday its hopes for constructive talks between the North and the United States and also expressed its willingness to enhance the possibility of U.S.-North Korea dialogue through active mediation.

"The United States should lower the threshold for talks with North Korea, while Pyongyang should in return show willingness towards denuclearization," President Moon Jae-in said during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong in the presidential Cheong Wa Dae on Monday. "It's important the United States and North Korea sit down together quickly," Moon said.

"Recently, North Korea has shown it is open to actively engaging the United States in talks and the United States is talking about the importance of dialogue," he said. "We ask for China's continued cooperation so that U.S.-North Korea dialogue takes place earlier."

Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, met with Moon on Sunday and said the door remains open for dialogue with the U.S.. Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman for South Korea's Ministry of Unification, said, "We hope for constructive talks between the North and the United States when an appropriate opportunity rises."

Chung Eui-yong, security adviser for the presidential Cheong Wa Dae, met with Kim Yong-chol and agreed to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and to develop inter-Korean relations after the PyeongChang Olympics. Both sides seem to have also discussed ways to promote the U.S.-North Korea dialogue.

However, experts point out that it is too early to make a conclusion despite the government's active mediation and the door remaining open for talks as there is a wide gap between North Korea and the United States over the denuclearization issue.

In fact, North Korea has not expressed any position on whether it will seek denuclearization.

However, the White House said that the United States will first see if North Korea's message represent the North's first step towards denuclearization.

With the continuing tug-of-war between North Korea and the U.S. over denuclearization, the South Korean governments is likely to play a key role in opening the door for U.S.-North Korea dialogue.

#U.S. #North Korea #dialogue #Olympics #Moon Jae-in 
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