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Delving deeper into S. Korea-U.S. talks held Wednesday Updated: 2021-03-17 15:32:04 KST

The talks between the top diplomatic and security chiefs of South Korea and the U.S. held in Seoul today come at a critical time.
They come less than a week since the virtual Quad summit of state leaders of the U.S., India, Japan and Australia.
The South Korea, U.S. talks also come a day after North Korea made its first statement towards the Biden administration which is conducting a comprehensive review of U.S. policy towards the regime.
For more on the key agendas and geopolitical impact of the talks, we have Dr. Go Myong-hyun.

There's speculation that the North's warning will have little impact in the altering the Biden administration's methods in dealing with the denuclearization issue which is mainly a bottom-up approach.
Do you maintain your position that the North will do something drastic to get Washington's attention in the near future?

The political role of Kim Yo-jong remains unchanged, though her official status appears to have been demoted in January to "vice department director" of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party from her previous position as first vice department director.
With this statement, it seem she's likely to stay in charge of affairs involving inter-Korean and U.S. relations.
What's your assessment of her political status?

There's been a lot of talk about Seoul and Washington's differences in carrying out their joint military exercises on the peninsula.
Putting aside the COVID-19 factor, the U.S. has emphasized that there's a need for joint exercises done on a massive scale beyond computer simulation exercises to include the mobilization of troops and weaponry.
Meanwhile, the South Korean government has called for flexibility and to carry out scaled-down or reduced versions in order to not instigate conflict with North Korea, who have long opposed the exercise.
How do you think South Korea and the U.S. will resolve this conundrum?

There's also talks about their differences in the envisioned transfer of wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul.
South Korea's defense minister has pledged to make strides during his term while the U.S. has emphasized a conditions-based transfer instead of political terms.
With large-scale joint military exercises crucial in the OPCON transfer how will the two sides alleviate their differences?

What do you expect from tomorrow's two-plus-two diplomatic and security talks other than the signing of the allies' long overdue defense cost-sharing deal?

Alright. That's Dr. Go. Thank you for your insight tonight. We appreciate it.
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