For more we have with us Dr. Go Myong-hyun from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Thank you for taking the time to come in today.
Thanks for having me.
1 - Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has stoked controversy after admitting during the national assembly audit on Wednesday that the government IS reviewing whether to lift the so-called May 24 sanctions on North Korea. Those sanctions came in place in 2010, after North Korea made an unprovoked attack on the Cheonan warship that killed some 46 seamen so it's a very sensitive subject in South Korean history.
What do you make of Foreign Minister Kang's comments?
2 - Trump has given his reply to these comments in quite an aggresive manner. When asked about whether South Korea would be allowed to lift sanctions, he said, "They won't do that without our approval. They do nothing without our approval." Is his tone understandable?
3 - Kang also confirmed that her U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, had complained about South Korea reaching a military agreement with North Korea at the last inter-Korea summit. She she he expressed discontent, about how he was not briefed sufficiently, and that he had a lot of questions. Does this show a concerning level of discord between South Korea and the U.S.?
4 - Meanwhile, North Korea's vice foreign ministery, Choe Son-hui, met with her Chinese and Russian counterparts earlier this week, and on Wednesday a joint communique was released calling on the UN to adjust its sanctions on North Korea at an appropriate time. The timing of this, coinciding with Kang's comments, seems unfortunate. Do you think it is a coinicidence?
5 - Trump has revealed that the second summit with Kim Jong-un will take place after the midterm elections in November. He has implied that there is just not enough time to leave the country because of the elections, but do you it just shows how far away the two sides are on reaching an agreement on the denuclearization process?
6 - If the summit comes after the midterms, then do you think the results of the midterms could affect Trump's policy or tactics on North Korea? If he loses the senate or the house, does that make his negotiating stance more difficult?
7 - Interest in Kim Jong-un's invitation for Pope Francis to visit is also growing. The Vatican has so far declined to comment, saying they will wait for an official invitation, which could come next week when President Moon visits. Do you think it could happen?
8 - Why would Kim Jong-un want to invite Pope Francis?