If all had gone well between the two Koreas and North Korea and the U.S., today, June 15th, 2020 marking 20 years since historic first summit between the leaders of South and North Korea in June 2000 and their joint declaration issued on this day would have been celebrated like no other.
But, the relations that set to be on path toward peace quickly took a U-turn in recent months leading up to the North's severance of all commuication with its southern neighbor.
20 years since the two Koreas' adoption of the June 15th Joint Declaration: Where we are, what that means, and what lies ahead.
It's the topic of our News In-depth with Go Myong-hyun, research fellow of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in the studio tonight.
Over the weekend, leading up to this key anniversary, North Korean leader's powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong said it's "high time" to break relations with South Korean authorities adding the next action against the "enemy" will come from the army.
How likely is a military provocation by the North at this point?
It's been a week since North Korea severed all official communication lines with the South. If Pyeongyang moves ahead with completely shutting down the liaison office, as well, could Seoul take that as Pyeongyang breaking away from the Panmunjeom Declaration between President Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in April 2018?
The North has linked its recent series of threats to Seoul's failure to prevent activists from launching propaganda leaflets across their border. This can't just be about the cross border leaflets which isn't something new as you and I discussed last week.
Is it still Pyeongyang's frustration over Seoul not doing enough both in reviving lucrative joint economic projects and lack of progress in nuclear talks with Washington?
I'd like to invite some perspective from Europe. Joining us via Skype is John Nilsson Wright, Senior Lecturer at Cambridge University and Senior Fellow at Chatham House.
John, thanks for speaking with us tonight.
What are you reading into such threats by North Korea around the two year anniversary of the Kim, Trump Singapore Summit and the June 15 Joint Declaration between Late South Korean leader Kim Dae-jung and Late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il?
How do you think the South Korean government should deal with activist groups flying cross border anti-North Korea leaflets to the North?
What does the latest setback in inter-Korean relations and North Korea, U.S. relations mean for the Moon Jae-in administration's build up for its peace on the peninsula legacy?
John Nilsson Wright, Senior Lecturer at Cambridge University and Senior Fellow at Chatham House, thanks for your insights tonight. We appreciate it.
It makes me wonder if North Korea has specific demands to South Korea, couldn't Pyeongyang lay them out to Seoul instead of making excuses to ramp up bellicose rhetoric? In other words, has North Korea made clear of what it is that it wants to South Korea?
Are recent statements by Kim Yo-jong also designed to solidify Kim Jong-un's authority to run the regime? Does this hint the possibility that North Korea is facing a tough political and economic challenge which undermines Kim Jong-un's legitimacy to rule?
Where does this leave President Moon and his administration which has been seeking breakthroughs to improve fraying inter-Korean ties and build peace on the Korean Peninsula?
He appears to be left with little policymaking latitude?
What will it take for inter-Korean relations and or North Korea, U.S. denuclearization talks to pick up the momentum?
Go Myong-hyun, research fellow of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, thank you for your insights, as always.