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ASSESSING CURRENT STATUS OF INTER-KOREAN TIES Updated: 2022-07-18 06:36:01 KST

Welcome back.
ON VIEW POINT today we RE-VISIT cross-border ties amid efforts by the Yoon administration to ensure a stronger sense of regional security in light of the recent changes to global order.
For more I have Professor CHUNG KU-YOUN from Kangwon National Univeristy.
Professor CHUNG welcome back.
I also have Doctor Bruce BENNETT at RAND Corporation LIVE on the LINE.
Doctor BENNETT it's good to have you back.

1) Professor Chung following its largest single test of 8 short-range ballistic missiles on June 5th JUST A DAY AFTER Seoul and Washington ended their joint military drills North Korea has been relatively less belligerent this month.
I mean granted there was the artillery firing last weekend but aside from that no missile launches.
How do you explain this SEEMINGLY less aggressive stance currently adopted by Pyeongyang?

2) Doctor Bennett do you suppose the heightened joint defense posture between Seoul and Washington as well as the trilateral security pledge with neighboring Tokyo is keeping Pyeongyang in check?
Simply speaking how do you explain the current status quo here on the Korean peninsula?

3-1) Professor Chung the Unification Ministry here recently took issue with North Korea's UNAUTHORIZED USE of South Korean facilities and equipment in the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Could you tell us a bit more about this issue?

3-2) Professor Chung what do you believe are the chances of another inter-Korean economic venture?
I mean President Yoon Suk-yeol has spoken about an "audacious" economic plan for North Korea IF it surrenders its nuclear weapons ambitions.

4) Doctor Bennett recent remarks by former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are making some headlines here on the local front.
Speaking in a video addressing the Asian Leadership Conference here in Seoul last week Pompeo claimed Beijing disrupted efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula because it benefits from Kim Jong-un's possession of nuclear weapons.
What are your thoughts?

NOW BEYOND the Korean Peninsula North Korea and Ukraine are engaged in a confrontation of their own as Pyeongyang officially acknowledges the independence of Moscow-supported separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.
We take a moment now to listen in on the events leading up to this confrontation.


"We received a decision today about North Korea recognizing the Donetsk People's Republic. At this stage, we establish diplomatic relations. Relevant authorities work in this direction."


"Today, representatives of the occupied areas in Donetsk announced that, as they say, they were recognized by the DPRK. Of course, we will react very harshly at all levels."

5) And after those remarks Ukraine severed its diplomatic ties with North Korea to which Pyeongyang responded defiantly.
Professor Chung how do you interpret North Korea's latest diplomatic move?

6) And Doctor Bennett staying with the same topic and keeping in mind the earlier remarks by Mr. Pompeo do you suppose there was some external prodding perhaps from Moscow or Beijing on Pyeongyang for this posture with regard to the crisis in Ukraine?
And if so for what purpose?

7) Professor Chung earlier there had been much talk about a pending nuclear test by North Korea but such speculation in recent days has been less AUDIBLE.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of a nuclear test. in the near future?

8) Doctor Bennett last week's joint drills by South Korea's Air Force and its U.S counterpart involved F-35A fighter jets for the first time.
Some pundits say such blatant shows of military strength may serve to hinder efforts to engage North Korea?

9) Professor Chung the Yoon administration is seeking a fresh North Korea policy.
That being said what do you believe needs to be taken into account to allow for a productive policy?

10) Doctor Bennett out of a score of 10 what would you grant the YOON administration with regard to its current efforts on North Korea-related matters?

All right.
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