The working-level talks between U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Steve Biegun and the former North Korean Ambassador to Spain Kim Hyuk-chul are tense ahead of the second summit in North America scheduled for July 27-28. The second working-level talks, which are scheduled for the second day on September 7, are not known about the process and contents of the talks, but the intense debate is expected to continue to take place in order to successfully conclude the talks between the two leaders of North Korea and the U.S.
Majority groups in the U.S. are criticizing the first summit with North Korea for failing to guarantee the denuclearization. From the standpoint of U.S. President Donald Trump, the U.S. should present concrete results of denuclearization through the Vietnam talks in order to dispel skepticisms in the U.S.
To this end, the working-level negotiations between Biegun and Kim Hyuk-chul in Pyongyang are very important. In fact, the two leaders of the U.S. and North Korea had a war of nerves before their talks. Biegun, the special representative of the U.S., did not specify the date of his return from North Korea. This is a glimpse of his determination to produce meaningful results, although some pain is expected. It is also encouraging that Biegun's special representative has accepted the trip to Pyongyang. It is easy for North Korean representative leaders to make a decision faster in Pyongyang than Panmunjom.
Of course, the key to the working-level talks depend on the level of North Korea's denuclearization and the corresponding measures. The U.S. puts the dismantlement of Yongbyon's nuclear facilities as a first priority due to the progress of North Korea's denuclearization. They are considering the dismantlement of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facilities, which have both plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities, and the addition of α.There are those uranium enrichment facilities at the core of the "Plus α,". There are more than 390 buildings in the Yongbyon's nuclear complex, including uranium enrichment facilities.
On the other hand, the North Korea is planning to establish a multilateral conference system to conclude a peace treaty as much as possible and ease sanctions against the North Korea. Since the U.S. is also formalizing its final goal of "complete denuclearization," it is highly possible that North Korea will reach a compromise in terms of the resumption of the Gaesong Industrial Complex, the tours to Mount Kumgang and international aids at the humanitarian level rather than easing comprehensive sanctions against the North Korea. Depending on the progress of the working-level talks, it can pave the way for the declaration of the end of the war.
However, the bottom line of the negotiations between North Korea and U.S. seems crystal clear. The U.S. needs to accept North Korea's demands in terms of the exemption of sanctions on inter-Korean cooperation projects, the establishment of a liaison office in Pyongyang, and the declaration of the end of the war. However, it is expected that the North Korea will request comprehensive ease sanctions against the North Korea while they were at it.
The working-level talks between North Korea and the U.S. are expected to be a tense tug-of-war to push each other's bottom line. It is also expected that the two countries will not easily give up the negotiations to revive the chances of a second round of talks in 260 days.
This is why the second summit is important, and also the current working-level meeting should be closely watched. The success of the summit is determined by the coming working-level talks.
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