For further discussions on the political gathering and the prospects of North Korea-U.S. nuclear talks Dr. Go Myong-hyun,(고명현) of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies joins me in the studio.
1. This is the first time the WP central committee meeting took place for multiple days in 29 years. How do you see this? Implications of the rare event?
2. On the first day of the party's plenary session, the main message was that North Korea will "strengthen its strategic position and national power". How do you interpret Pyeongyang's 'strategic position'? Does it imply further weapons development?
3. On the second day, the meeting placed focus on 'offensive measures' to ensure the regime's security and on the economy and military self-reliance. What could North Korea mean by 'offensive measures'?
4. Based on what we've learned so far from the central committee meeting what kind of message do you expect from Kim Jong-un and his New Year's address? What could be the 'new path' North Korea has been mentioning in recent weeks?
5. Fortunately there was no provocation around Christmas through what the regime dubbed as "Christmas gift to the U.S.", but the possibility of another missile test or stronger provocation still lingers. The WSJ has reported a possible provocation could happen on January 8th, which is Kim Jong-un's birthday, and/or on February 16th, the birthday of Kim's father and late former leader Kim Jong-il. Your thoughts?
6. U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien has said that Washington is prepared to take action to counter any North Korean provocation. Would Washington's North Korea policy change in accordance with Kim's New Year's Address?
7. Trump and Putin held phone talks on Sunday. There have been no reports on whether the two discussed North Korea's nuclear issue, but from your perspective, could the two have touched upon that issue?
8. Exactly a year ago, Kim sent a letter to President Moon Jae-in conveying his willingness to hold summit talks. Can we expect any year-end, or New Year's message from Pyeongyang to Seoul?
9. What would be the key words wrapping up (or best representing) this year's North Korea-U.S. dialogue which began with the Hanoi summit in February?
10. Amid faltering Pyeongyang-Washington talks dialogue between the two Koreas is also dwindling. Prospects of inter-Korean relations next year?