COVID-19 VACCINATIONS this year allowed for quite a number of INTERNATIONAL SUMMITS that SOUGHT to ADDRESS ISSUES of UNIVERSAL CONCERN RANGING from the HEALTH of man to THAT of his environment.
AND GIVEN its RELATIVE CONTAINMENT of the PANDEMIC KOREA appears to have PLAYED an ACTIVE ROLE on the GLOBAL STAGE this year.
For more I have Professor MIN Jeong-hun from the Korea National Diplomatic Academy.
Professor Min it's good to see you again.
I also have Doctor GO Myong-hyun from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
It's been a while Doctor Go welcome back.
1) Professor Min despite the global pandemic 2021 appears to have been an eventful year for Korea on the diplomatic front with the G7 summit in Britain the G20 in Italy as well as the UN climate conference in Scotland.
How do you assess Korea's diplomatic activities this year?
2) Doctor GO here on the Korean peninsula EFFORTS to ADVANCE the PEACE PROCESS have been HAMPERED by the pandemic AND EVEN OFFERS of vaccine support failed to engage North Korea.
How do you explain this reality?
3) Meanwhile Professor Min animosity between the U.S. and China has kept Korea cautious as it seeks to balance its respective ties with the two feuding countries.
What are your thoughts on Korea's efforts thus far?
4) Doctor GO earlier on Wednesday Foreign Minister CHUNG EUI-YONG cast doubt on hopes for cross-border talks during the upcoming Beijing winter olympics in light of the status quo.
Do you share his reservation?
5) Separately Professor Min also on Wednesday Minister Chung claimed Seoul and Washington have agreed "IN PRINCIPLE" on a DRAFT to formally end the Korean War.
What more can you tell us?
((NOW the U.S. State Department for its part has DECLINED to COMMENT on the REMARKS by Minister Chung.
How do you interpret this stance?))
6) Doctor GO Pyeongyang this week is hosting a key ruling party conference on its policies for the country.
Do you expect any mention of Seoul's proposed end-of-war declaration?
((It has been reported that Wednesday's session may have included issues related to South Korea and the U.S.))
7) Doctor GO North Korea's KIM JONG UN has PREVIOUSLY used these plenary sessions to share his thoughts on the U.S. and on his country's nuclear ambitions.
Do you believe this will be the case this time around as well?
8) Also here in the region Professor Min Japan is PUSHING to INCLUDE a MINE LINKED to FORCED LABOR on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Korea for its part has called the push "DEPLORABLE".
I suppose tensions between the two countries look to escalate?
9) Doctor GO some U.S. pundits believe the Biden administration MAY FACE a GRAVE PROVOCATION from North Korea within the next few months.
What are your thoughts?
10) Finally Professor Min do you believe efforts to REIN IN COVID-19 and TRANSITION into a new normal will serve to boost Korea's CLOUT regarding international affairs?