More than two months have past since the North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi ended without a deal and not much progress has been made in denuclearizing the Hermit kingdom.
While South Korea's role as a mediator has become more important than ever before, top U.S. negotiator North Korea Stephen Biegun is due to visit Seoul next Tuesday.
Today we go in-depth on the analysis of the current situation surrounding Korea and future perspectives on nuclear negotiations.
For that Dr. Go Myong-hyun of Asan Institute for Policy Studies now joins us.
1. While dialogue remains halted between North Korea and the U.S. (at least on the surface) since the no-deal Hanoi summit, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha's latest remarks are making headlines. She said North Korea needs a 'comprehensive roadmap' of denuclearization to strike a deal with the U.S., while also calling on both Pyeongyang and Washington to have more flexibility. How do you interpret her remarks?
Do minister Kang's statements reflect South Korean government's stance?
2. Top U.S. negotiator for North Korea Stephen Biegun will visit Seoul next week. He's expected to hold a working-level group talk with his South Korean counterparts. What are some of the expected agenda?
3. Reports suggest humanitarian aid to North Korea will likely be brought up during talks with Biegun. But South Korea's plan to provide aid worth some 8 million dollars through international organizations was suspended in 2017, and Seoul's Unification Ministry on Thursday stated that no food aid to the North is being considered at the moment. Why is the issue of humanitarian aid emerging on the surface now?
What is Washington's current stance on humanitarian to North Korea now?
4. Recently, North Korea's state-run media have been highlighting domestic food shortage, urging people to find every piece of land that can grow grain. And UN food agencies have also announced that North Korea is in deperate need of help, or millions will suffer. How bad is the food shortage situation in North Korea?
5. If humanitarian aid goes through this time, how would North Korea react? Would the aid help in anyway in resuming stalled nuclear talks?
6. The nuclear stand-off between Pyeongyang and Washington continues. North Korea's vice foreign minister Choe Son-hui renewed her warning that the U.S. has until the end of this year to make its decision, while U.S. Secy. of state Pompeo reiterated that complete denuclearization is the only way to resolve the issue. How long before we see some progress in the nuclear deadlock?
7. Why is North Korea emphasizing its deadline of 'until the end of this year'? What is the regime aiming for?
8. Japan is also an important regional player. Unlike previously, Japan appears to be more actively reaching out to North Korea. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an interview said he will meet with Kim Jong-un without any conditions while reports are also emerging that Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide suga is pushing for a meeting with North Korean officials in New York. Do you think a Kim Jong-un-Abe summit can materialize any time soon?
9. South Korea's concerns are growing on how to carry on its role as a mediator. While North Korea is yet to respond to President Moon's proposal on the 4th inter-Korean summit, when do you think would be a good time for the two leaders to meet again?
10. What kind of requests are likely to be made by Kim Jong-un if the 4th inter-Korean summit takes place?
11. Many experts believe Kim Jong-un is not ready yet on how to proceed with denuclearization talks. It's widely believed that he's still mulling his next step following his summit Russian President Vladimir Putin. Your take?