Speaking at the '2020 DMZ International Forum on the Peace Economy', experts say that home-centered diplomacy is key to securing peace on the Korean Peninsula particularly when taking the new U.S. administration into consideration.
"The new Biden administration will hold Beijing in check just like the Trump administration did, as China's global identity amplifies in proportion to its economy. But solidifying a friendship and an alliance between the two Koreas is the only way to survive the clashes and pressure between the two world powers. That's home-centered diplomacy."
The expert also said that the North should get out of a 'Washington first, Seoul later' mindset and instead pour its efforts into improving ties with the South first so that Seoul can support them economically.
However, North Korea's economy has been hit by the triple threat of COVID-19, devastating summer typhoons and international sanctions.
"Because of border lockdowns, local factories in the North have probably been struggling to import materials to produce items related to virus prevention."
The expert added that Seoul and Pyeongyang should cooperate especially against global challenges like the pandemic and that peace based on economic revitalization will be a catalyst for peace in the region.
Seoul's unification minister also highlights the importance of taking small steps.
"The two Koreas should restore communication channels first and also work on connecting railroads and re-open tourism as agreed through the Joint Declaration and Panmunjeom Declaration."
"The minister pointed out that building trust between the two Koreas is a top priority, and he urged the international community to take the path of peace in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation.
Kim Dami, Arirang News, Incheon."