South and North Korea are in talks to reopen a joint liaison office that Pyeongyang demolished last year and hold a summit as part of efforts to restore relations that's according to Reuters today citing multiple government sources which Seoul presidential Blue House denied.
It follows news yesterday that President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have been exchanging personal letters since April - perhaps exploring ways to improve strained ties.
It's the topic of our News In-depth tonight with Evans Revere, Senior Advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group. Mr. Revere was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The discussions signal an improvement in ties that have deteriorated in the past year after the leaders of Seoul, Washington and Pyeongyang summits in 2018 promised peace and reconciliation.
What are you making out of the restoration of the inter-Korean communication line as well as the two Koreas' indication to improve ties?
Inter-Korean talks could also help restart stalled negotiations between Pyeongyang and Washington aimed at dismantling the North's nuclear and missile programmes in return for sanctions relief. How far along do you think the two Koreas are in holding a summit? And how soon?
President Biden's pointman on North Korea, Sung Kim, was in Seoul several weeks ago. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was here just last week. Time and time again, officials from both sides have highlighted airtight consultation and collaboration on the allies' North Korea policy.
How much of U.S. involvement do you sense in this latest development between the two Koreas?
Do you think the Biden administration is willing to engage with North Korea at this point? Is Washington willing to meet Pyeongyang halfway and grant sanctions relief and for what?
As they progress toward the goal, do you think South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be able to play a meditator role once again? How realistic is it with the South Korean leader's term in office only ten months left?
Evans Revere, Senior Advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, thank you for your insights tonight. We appreciate it.