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President’s adviser calls on NK to take bold steps to resume talks

North Korea should take bold actions to resume the stalled denuclearization negotiations with the United States, a security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday.

Moon Chung-in, a special presidential adviser for unification, foreign and security affairs, suggested that the North should take bold actions, such as allowing open inspections of Punggye-ri nuclear test site and dismantlement of the Dongchang-ri missile launch site, if it wants the US to take its offer. 

Moon Chung-in (Yonhap)
Moon Chung-in (Yonhap)

“I believe (the negotiations) depend on North Korea’s decision. If it takes proactive measures and comes back for dialogue, the talks will go smoothly,” Moon said, speaking at a forum titled “New Korean Peninsula Regime for Shared Prosperity.”

Addressing the deadlock in denuclearization talks, Moon also said the United States should be more flexible and at least promise some kind of measures to guarantee security for North Korea.

“If lifting sanctions cannot be done in the beginning (of the denuclearization process) and can only come at the end, the US should be able to take a contrarian move to make a deal by suggesting establishing diplomatic relations (with the North) or sign a nonaggression pact,” Moon said.

He also emphasized “good-enough deals” or “early harvest deals,” proposed by President Moon, as a way to reach a deal on denuclearization.

“South Korea is suggesting a ‘good-enough deal.’ We agree with the United State’s proposal of a big deal, or a package settlement. But the implementation of the denuclearization deal should be done incrementally,” Moon explained.

“(The concerned parties) should make a roadmap and set a timeline for the denuclearization procedure following a roadmap.”

In his keynote speech at the forum, Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said South Korea will do its best so that the series of bilateral and multilateral talks President Moon is holding in the upcoming days will serve as a momentum for the resumption of the stalled nuclear negotiations. 

Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul (Yonhap)
Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul (Yonhap)

Citing the recent exchange of personal letters between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the minister also raised hopes that the US-North Korea talks would resume.

“We will do our best to make the G-20 Summit, the various bilateral and multilateral talks that will be held on the sidelines, and the US-South Korea summit, an opportunity to resume negotiations between the US and North Korea, and consolidate peace on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

Kim also highlighted the importance of economic cooperation with North Korea.

Citing Kaesong industrial park and Kumgangsan tour programs as having been beneficial for both Koreas, Kim said the government will make efforts to create conditions to resume the inter-Korean business projects.

“When people communicate and understand, the inter-Korean relationship can change,” Kim said. “A new system of peace and prosperity can be created only via exchanges, understanding and trust between people.”

By Jo He-rim(