The South Korean special delegation left for Pyongyang on Wednesday morning to arrange details for the inter-Korean summit, as well as to try and make progress on inter-Korean cooperative projects and, of course, the thorny subject of denuclearization. It's set to be another important crossroads in North Korean affairs. Will Pyongyang show they are willing to continue with engagement, or will they harden their stance, sending a message to the U.S.? To help try and answer that, we have with us Dr. Go Myong-hyun from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Thank you for taking the time to come in today.
Thanks for having me.
1 - At this current time, Seoul has confirmed that the delegation has been met with various officials, including Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, Kim Yong-chol, one of the most senior officials who has been negotiating with both South Korea and the U.S. That's a good sign so far, wouldn't you agree?
2 - It was confirmed that Chung will be carrying a message from President Moon to Kim Jong-un. What do you think was in that message?
3 - The Blue House and the White House have both confirmed that Presidents Moon and Trump talked on the phone on Tuesday. They are said to have talked for some 50 minutes. Can we consider this call a final check on their positions before President Moon sent off his special envoy to Pyongyang on Wednesday?
4 - President Moon is said to have stressed the importance of the inter-Korean relationship to Trump, saying that it will contribute to the denuclearization of North Korea as well. But how difficult a task is this for Moon Jae-in to try and mediate between Trump and Kim Jong-un?
5 - President Trump is said to have expressed his support. How much rests on South Korea's shoulders, and envoy Chung's visit as well?
6 - Kim Jong-un has made his first public appearance in over two weeks. North Korean state media reported that he attended the funeral of senior official Ju Kyu-chang. Can you tell us a little more about who he was, and what you make of Kim's recent hiatus from public events?
7 - Beijing has confirmed that Xi Jinping will not be going to Pyongyang for the anniversary of the regime's foundation. Does this surprise you at all?
8 - Beijing has said it will now be sending Li Zhanshu, one of Xi Jinping's top officials to the events. Who is he and what kind of message does this send to Pyongyang?
9 - The White House has said Trump and Kim agreed to meet at the UN General Assembly later this month. The Blue House was a bit more sketchy, saying it is exploring the idea of a meeting. Why do you think South Korea is being so cautious? Do you think President Moon is aiming for something bigger? (i.e. trilateral summit?)