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[ISSUE TALK] Tensions building over North Korea sanctions Updated: 2018-10-12 12:32:19 KST

For more we have with us Dr. Woo Jung-yeop from the Sejong Institute. It's good to have you with us.

My pleasure.

1 - Sanctions seem to be the key issue this week. What do you make of North Korea's latest response?

2 - The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Washington is also blocking humanitarian aid to North Korea as well, a sign perhaps that the U.S. is continuing to ratchet up pressure on North Korea. Another sign that denuclearization talks are continuing to stall?

3 - This of course, comes as the Moon administration has continued to try and sort out the situation over the comments made by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha who said Seoul was reviewing its sanctions on North Korea. The Unificiation Minister has since said there is no formal review of such an option, but that flexibility will be needed depending on the situation. Trump of course reacted rather undiplomatically saying that South Korea can make no such decision without U.S. approval. How damaging was this comment to South Korea-U.S. relations? Don't they need to be on the same side?

4 - President Moon will be setting off for a 9-day trip around Europe on Saturday. The Blue House has said he will try to garner support from the EU countries on North Korea, but what message do you think he will be relaying to them?

5 - President Moon's first stop is France, which is a UN Security Council member and therefore one of the most influential players on North Korea sanctions. Do you think President Moon will try to put any pressure towards lifting sanctions or is it too soon for that?

6- Russia and North Korea have announced that its leaders, Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin exchanged messages to mark their 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties. There was also of coure the trilateral vice-foreign minister level talks that took place between Russia, China and North Korea earlier this week. Would you agree that it looks like Kim Jong-un is trying to coordinate support?

6a - On Wednesday a joint communique was released between Russia, China and North Korea calling on the UN to adjust its sanctions on North Korea at an appropriate time.

7 - President Donald Trump during an interview on Fox and Friends on Thursday bragged about his good relationship with North Korea, stressing how there are no missile or nuclear tests being performed any more. He described Pompeo as a star for going to North Korea again recently and holding talks. Some have said he will continue stressing these achievements in the run-up to the mid term eletions in November. But what is your objective assessment of Trump's achievements on North Korea so far?

8 - During the Fox interview he also had a go at the military deals the U.S. has with various countries, describing them as horrible. That list includes South Korea. Do you think this issue could continue to develop or do you think it is another mid-term rallying soundbite?

9 - South Korea is currently renegotiating the special measures agreement with the U.S., over cost-sharing on maintaining U.S. forces in Korea. Do you foresee any problems in an agreement being reached?

10 - The North Korea analysis website 38 North has reported that satellite photos show movement at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. It is known to be a missile launch site, but previously there was activity showing that it was being dismantled. The roof of the fuel/oxidizer structure/bunker is said to have been changed, but the website said it was unclear what this was for. North Korea must know the international community is watching, are they sending some sort of message?

11 - It's been announced that high-level inter-Korean talks will take place next week. What do you think they will talk about?
Reporter : kwon@arirang.com
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