Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

North Korea’s About-Face Complicates South Korea’s Pitch toTrump

North Korea’s About-Face Complicates  South Korea’s Pitch toTrump

SEOUL - South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been riding high after a string of successes with North Korea, seeing his popularity surge after his historic meeting with Kim Jong Un as he looks ahead to the U.S.-North Korea summit he helped engineer next month.
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But just days before a key meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Pyongyang has made Moon’s role as a diplomatic go-between much harder, calling his government “ignorant and incompetent” and pulling out of inter-Korean talks.
Moon heads to Washington next week with the daunting task of crafting a unified approach between the two allies ahead of the June 12 meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore.
While publicly supporting Trump’s campaign of sanctions and military threats, Moon has long called for reconciliation with the North and has pushed Washington to engage with Pyongyang’s overtures.
North Korea’s threat this week to scrap the Trump summit if Washington continues to press for unilateral denuclearization and complaints about U.S.-South Korea military drills has done little to advance Moon’s hope for a peace deal. (Reuters)
“Moon did an impressive job building up political capital with both leaders - with Trump throughout 2017 and Kim more in 2018 - and has spent some of it to create a situation that brings North Korea and the U.S. to the table,” said Andray Abrahamian, adjunct fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. “He’s still in a position to act as a go-between, but only as far as the other two parties take bridgeable positions.” (Reuters)