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N. Korea Celebrates Late Leader's Birthday with Rare Outdoor Ceremony: Reading Between N. Korean Lines with Dr. Go Myong-hyun Updated: 2022-02-16 17:06:12 KST

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un commemorated the 80th birth anniversary of his father Kim Jong-il at a national meeting.
The North's state-run broadcaster today aired video of Kim Jong-un and thousands of people gathered in front of a statue of Kim Jong-il in the new alpine city of Samjiyon yesterday also showing crowds attending a concert and watching fireworks.
It is rare that North Korea held such celebrations in the remote region.
Let's talk about it in Reading Between North Korean Lines with our Senior North Korea analyst Dr. Go Myong-hyun of Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

Dr. Go, it's wonderful to have you back.

So, the celebration of his father's birth anniversary with a rare outdoor ceremony near its border with China. Is it not uncommon for North Korea to hold a high-profile state event in a city at the foot of Mount Baektu, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula - AND without any military parade?
What is the message that Kim Jong-un is trying to send?

Meanwhile, according to a report by the Quincy Institute, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Sejong Institute, the current standstill between Pyeongyang and Washington can only be solved at the very top level - meaning by the two leaders of the two sides. So, an engagement like the Kim-Trump summits in 2018 and 2019. Is this a possibility considering it's now Joe Biden in the White House?

What will it take to get North Korea to come sit at the negotiations table?

We've been getting news that U.S. President Joe Biden will be visiting Seoul in late May shortly after the new South Korean president takes office in early May. How do you expect the election outcome to impact inter-Korean relations AND Seoul, Washington ties?

What would President Biden want to discuss with his new South Korean counterpart during his first visit to Seoul as the American leader?

What about South Korea, Japan ties? How do you expect the election outcome to impact Seoul, Tokyo relations?

Dr. Go Myong-hyun, many thanks for your insights. We appreciate it.
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