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Flaring Tensions on Korean Peninsula: S. Korea, U.S. Response Updated: 2020-06-18 16:00:06 KST

"This is just a beginning," is how North Korea's biggest daily began its commentary today two days after it reduced a 15 million dollar inter-Korean liaison office building to rubble ADDING "it will be followed by uninterrupted explosions for defending justice and they might far exceed the imagination."
With no unusual movement detected yet South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator arrived in Washington to meet with U.S. officials.
Let's take an in-depth look.
Dr. Go Myong-hyun of the Asan Institute of Policy Studies is live in the studio with me.

We're taking a breather today compared to the daily North Korean assaults we have been experiencing as of late. I was rather surprised that Pyeongyang remained mute to the rather strong statement by the Blue House yesterday. What's going on?

Pyeongyang has threatened to dispatch troops to the demilitarised zone and other border areas from which it had previously withdrawn. We don't have official confirmation yet that North Korean troops have been redeployed to those areas. What's holding them back, do you think?

North Korea in its Rodong Sinmun commentary threatened of "uninterrupted explosions that might far exceed the imagination." What could they possibly be?

Meanwhile, an online aviation tracker spotted Kim Jong-un's jet in North Korean airspace flying in the direction of Hamhung at 10 AM yesterday. There are speculations that Kim was headed to the Sinpo Shipyard, where the regime builds weapons, including SLBMs.
How likely is this? What are the implications of an SLBM test by North Korea?

Amidst all this, South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator arrived in Washington. He's expected to hold consultations with U.S. officials including Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun and White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.
Let's bring in U.S. into this equation.
Dr. James Kim joins us live. James is senior fellow of the Center for American Politics and Policy at the Asan Institute.

Great to have you on the show, James.

South Korea's top office dismissed media reports that Lee was visiting the U.S. as a special envoy and that his trip had been planned for a long time.
Now, having said that, what are the implications of these meetings between Lee and Biegun and O'Brien?
What can possibly come out of it?

These guys are essentially members of the joint working group designed to coordinate North Korea policy. They've come under criticism by some in the government here for being an obstacle to inter-Korean relations. Your thoughts?

Some North Korea watchers in the U.S. predict Pyeongyang will likely attack the U.S. presidential election in November. Possibly in the form of cyber attack. Is this a possibility?
How can North Korea meddle in the upcoming U.S. elections? Can, will that affect U.S. response to North Korea?

James Kim of Asan Institute, great speaking to you. Thank you.

Lee Do-hoon's visit to Pyeongyang - does this send out a message to North Korea, in any way?

President Trump renewed a longstanding national emergency series with respect to North Korea telling Congress in a letter that the extension was necessary due to North Korea's continued unusual and extraordinary threat to the U.S. Although it's a mere extension of the sanctions already in place, still coming at this time, some say it could be seen as a warning against Pyeongyang.
How will Pyeongyang take this?

Go Myong-hyun of the Asan Institute of Policy Studies, many thanks as always for your insights. We appreciate it.

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