“Our two nations also share a willingness to engage diplomatically with the DPRK to take pragmatic steps that will reduce tensions as we move toward our ultimate goal of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”
From vaccines to North Korea, the leaders of South Korea and the U.S. vowed close cooperation based on their strong alliance which is now expanding to non-conventional areas.
While President Moon has called the talks “the best summit”, many point out that thorough and detailed follow-up measures will be critical to realize the landmark agreements.
S. Korea-U.S. summit: Gains and remaining tasks it’s the topic of our news in-depth tonight, joining me in the studio is Dr. WOO Jung-Yeop , Director of the Center for American Studies at the Sejong Institute.
Great to have you on our show.
Doctor Woo, the two leaders agreed to form a close vaccine partnership, including vaccine manufacturing, with President Biden offering to provide South Korean troops with 555,000 doses.
But they fell short of discussing a vaccine swap, which was one of President Moon’s top priorities.
How do you assess the level of Seoul-Washington vaccine cooperation?
While the latest vaccine partnership is expected to give a big boost to production in Indo-Pacific region, Seoul and Washington also agreed to work closely to build a supply network of chips, batteries and medicine.
How do you see the scope of their alliance expanding to non-conventional fields, and how would regional players take this?
Now to North Korea. The joint statement stipulates that “dialogue based on the Panmunjeom Declaration and the 2018 Singapore agreement are essential” to achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
This is what the Moon administration picks as one of the biggest gains from the summit.
What does this imply, and would this give President Moon more leeway in getting the U.S. on board for his denuclearization approach?
The biggest surprise from the joint statement was the appointment of Sung Kim as U.S. special envoy for North Korea.
Kim previously served as U.S. special representative for North Korea policy and also was the U.S. special envoy for the Six-Party Talks being at the center of North Korea negotiations since the Bush administration.
What does this tell us about the Biden administration’s undisclosed North Korea policy?
Dr. Woo, the two leaders also emphasized the importance of “preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as well as maintaining freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and beyond”.
Does this mean that South Korea ended its strategic non-decision between the two superpowers? Do you think its now tilting towards the U.S.?
And lastly, President Moon happily announced the abolishment of guidelines on South Korea’s missile use which had been in place over the last 42 years.
What significance does it hold for the South Korea-U.S. military alliance and how will Asian neighbors respond?
Dr. WOO Jung-Yeop of the Sejong Institute for our news in-depth tonight. Grateful for your expertise.