The two Koreas just wrapped up two rounds of reunions of families separated by the Korean War.
The event was the first in three years, and has helped to thaw inter-Korean relations a bit.
But could it be a launching point for even better relations between the two Koreas?
To evaluate the Park administration's North Korea policy in its first year, we are now joined by Dr. Bong Young-shik, senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Hello, Dr. Bong.
The reunions of war-separated families are now over. The process went smoothly, despite worries that the annual military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. may endanger the event. So what now? Can we expect to see inter-Korean relations improve even further?
Most of the war-separated family members are advanced in age. And people say reunions of separated families must be held on a regular basis. Is there a chance that family reunions become a regular event in the near future?
But only when North Korea takes tangible steps to denuclearize can we truly expect to see inter-Korean ties improve. To bring about Pyongyang's denuclearization, what does the South Korean government need to do?
While the two Koreas were conducting family reunions, a North Korean patrol ship entered the maritime border in the West Sea three times. And South Korea and the U.S. are currently conducting the Key Resolve military exercise. Do you expect North Korea to launch a provocation while the joint South Korea-U.S. drills are taking place?
The South Korean government has shown its willingness to help North Korea provide support for the prevention and eradication of foot-and-mouth disease. To that end, Seoul proposed working-level talks between the two countries. How do you think North Korea will respond? Could this be another chance for the two Koreas to cooperate?
What scorecard would you give for President Park's North Korea policy over the past year? Has it been successful, as many claim it has been?
Thank you, Dr. Bong, for your in-depth analysis. Hope to see you again soon.