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soryang

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Member since: Sat Mar 14, 2009, 08:45 PM
Number of posts: 2,556

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South Korean National Security Advisor's Visit to DC: A Mistake?



Chung Eui Yong avoided questions about the results of his most recent trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with National Security Advisor John Bolton, other than to say their talks had been productive. Specifically, he refused to answer the question about whether he had discussed a declaration to end the Korean War at the meeting. An anonymous South Korean foreign office news source said that Chung's trip to Washington was a mistake. According to this source, he was told, "Don't persuade us, persuade North Korea first," which sounds a lot like a rebuke. This raises Moon's recent comment at the Singapore ASEAN conference concerning the stalemate, of "which comes first, the chicken or the egg?" This the South Korean president's reference to the timing of denuclearizaton measures desired by the US and UN, and establishment of a "peace regime," on the Korean peninsula, desired by the North Koreans, including a declaration that the Korean war is over. As the reporter at the airport persisted in his question about the declaration of the end of the Korean war issue, Chung just made a wry smile, and said goodbye.

As the US returned to a hard line in the negotiations with North Korea, South Korean Kang Kyung Hwa met with Pompeo at the UN, to make a "no daylight" presentation on stiffening the sanctions regime on North Korea. Her normally serious demeanor was replaced by an ebullient touchy feely posing with Secretary Pompeo which seemed oddly inappropriate under the circumstances. Sources in the White House had made suggestions that South Korea somehow shared responsibility for sanctions violations involving importation of coal from two foreign registry ships from Panama and Sierra Leone, respectively, that were allegedly transhipped from Russia, disguising the identity of the North Korean bulk shipment. The issue was why didn't the South Koreans investigate the brokers and seize the shipments?

Apparently, Kang got some concessions from the US regarding pending issues agreed to between North and South Korea at Panmunjeom. One exception to the sanctions being the exception for the shipment of military communications materials and vehicles to North Korea for communications between North Korean and South Korean military commands aimed at avoiding provocations or incidents that could jeopardize security. The second exemption involves resources necessary to support a civil liason office at the Kaeseong Industrial zone in North Korea. The third exemption requested was for materials, equipment and other resources necessary to renovate the Kumgangsan Resort facility to be used for the separate families reunion schedule for August 20. This latter event is currently on hold on the North Korean side, who have been critical of Moon's ASEAN speech for merely "chanting in unison" with his "American master" and flippantly advising Kim what to do to avoid a "serious judgement from international society."

It is unlikely that National Security Advisor Chung's trip to meet Bolton was a mistake, but it may have been futile. The discussion about what the North Korean dissatisfaction is really all about has been covered in South Korean media and couldn't be clearer to anyone who follows North Korean official media. It's definitely not something to which the hardliners in the administration are receptive, as they line up to conform to the avalanche of criticism in the US media after the summit and the suspension of joint military exercises.

Before the summit when Trump and Pompeo met with Kim Yong Chol, the Vice Chairman of State Affairs in North Korea, they told him they would consider an announcement ending the Korean War. In fact, Pompeo had already announced publicly that there would be no CVID, (complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization) without guarantees of North Korean security, CVIG, complete verifiable irreversible guarantee of (North Korean) security.

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Shortly after the summit in Singapore, they again demonstrated that they understood North Korean concerns about security and the notion of reciprocity and trust building by suspending joint military exercises with South Korea.

After the wave of criticism here in the US from the usual interested parties and opposition, Pompeo and Trump retreated for political cover to the "one sided, ganster like demand," for nuclear disarmament by the North. When Pompeo got to Pyongyang for post summit negotiations, he refused to consider North Korean requests oriented toward normalizing diplomatic relations and ending the war. That put everything on hold. It is likely it was known this would happen before Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang.

It's possible that the serviceman's remains repatriation issue is still on track. S.Korean news reports on the 21st suggested that the talks had been successful. The date set for repatriation is July 27, the 65th Anniversary of the Armistice.

Here's another indication that the North Korean's aren't giving up on what the US promised at the summit in Singapore.



"A declaration of the end of the war to relieve tension on the Korean peninsula, and to construct a peace regime, is the first process. In order to build trust with the United States, this is an indispensable demand." (Our People North Korean web site)

Perhaps the White House wants to forget the joint statement President Trump signed in Singapore with Kim Jong Un.

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