Jefferson Morley | March 4, 2019
South Korea’s Moon Seeks to Mediate between Trump and Kim
The breakdown of the U.S. North Korea nuclear talks was a setback for South Korean president Moon Jae-in who has to battle with both hawks at home and Democrats in Washington who don’t know or care about his agenda of ending the Korean War and denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
From KBS WORLD Radio
Moon instructed his officials to find out where the two sides disagree and devise ways to improve inter-Korean ties within the existing framework of sanctions placed on North Korea. This came as Washington and Pyongyang are blaming each other for failing to agree to a denuclearization deal during their summit in Vietnam last week.
Moon: The dismantlement of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, which is the foundation of the North Korean nuclear development, is now within a visible range along with the U.S. inspection and verification. If the plutonium reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities of Yongbyon are completely dismantled, the North Korean denuclearization will enter into an irreversible phase.”
Another hopeful sign that the talks can be revived: the announcement that the U.S. will end large-scale military drills with South Korea.
The official story is that this announcement was not linked to the breakdown at the Hanoi summit, but it is certainly consistent with Moon’s agenda of reducing tensions in advance of a peace/denuclearization deal.