[ISSUE TALK] First meeting of S. Korea-U.S. working group on N. Korea confirmed for TuesdayUpdated: 2018-11-20 12:34:29 KST
To talk further about this working group, we have with us Dr. Bong Young-shik, from the Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies. It's good to have you with us. It's good to be here. 1 - The working group is convening for the first time. It's being made out as a body that will help foster better communication between Seoul and Washington. But what do we actually know about it and how will it work? 2 - The first official meeting is set to take place Tuesday local time. And speculation is that the first thing on the agenda will be the inter-Korean railway project. The two Koreas have pressed to push this project through, but the U.S. has expressed reservations about it. Do you think this group will help resolve these differences? 3 - It was reported in the South Korean press that head of the CIA's Korea Mission Centre, Andrew Kim, was in Korea last week, and held a secret meeting with the North Koreans at Panmunjeom. Now there have been follow-up reports saying this cannot be confirmed, but what do we know so far and do you think these reports are credible? 4 - The state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun ran a commentary on Monday saying U.S. meddling in inter-Korean affairs was intolerable, especially in how they seem to tell South Korea what to do. Do you think this is in reaction to the establishment of this working group? 5 - Last week President Moon Jae-in met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where Xi confirmed that he had received an invitation from Kim Jong-un to visit North Korea but that he will do so some time early next year. Why do you think he is not accepting until next year? Do you think he is waiting to see how the talks with the U.S. go first? 6 - Xi also revealed that he plans to visit Seoul next year, but he didn't say when exactly. He will also inevitably not visit until after the North Korea-U.S. summit, no? 7 - On Sunday and Monday, representatives from the two Koreas met in North Korea to hold a joint event marking the 20th anniversary of the Mt. Geumgang tour program, which of course is currently suspended. That has been suspended for 10 years, since a tourist was shot there in 2008, and it's the first time a joint event like this has been held in four years as well. What did you make of this event? 8 - The chief of Hyundai Group who went said that the tours will restart soon, but not this year. But realistically, we are probably looking at a long time before they restart right?
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