Despite what Washington hawks wish for, the Korea nuclear talks are not dead. The idea of a deal to end the Korean war, de-escalate the military confrontation between North and South, and denuclearize the Korean peninsula is opposed by John Bolton and, oddly, by many Washington Democrats.
Still, South Korean President Moon Jae-in seeks to bridge the differences between the two. Moon is a liberal, elected in 2017 in a campaign featuring allegations that the National Intelligence Service favored his conservative rival.
Last month Moon met with Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence. Next week Moon is coming to Washington to meet with Trump who also seems determined to save the talks. After the failure of the Hanoi summit in February Trump overruled his advisers and rolled back newly imposed sanctions on North Korea.
Yesterday, Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of Moon’s National Security Office (NSO) met with Trump’s deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman at the White House, to discuss ways to break the stalemate.
From the Korea Times
“One of the main issues at the Kim-Kupperman meeting was how to define denuclearization and to narrow the differences between the U.S. and North Korea,” one official said requesting anonymity. “It appears they also touched briefly on the possibility of sending a special envoy to North Korea.”
The official didn’t specify who the envoy would be, but sources said National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon may fill the role.