Foreign ministers from North and South Korea to attend ASEAN regional security summit

Foreign ministers from North and South Korea to attend ASEAN regional security summit

Today, the foreign minister of North Korea, Ri Yong-ho, will attend ASEAN’s Regional Forum. It will be the first time

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In delivers a statement during the 19th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Republic of Korea Summit in Manila

Photo: Reuters/Noel Celis

Today, the foreign minister of North Korea, Ri Yong-ho, will attend ASEAN’s Regional Forum. It will be the first time North Korea has been represented, after Kim Jong-un’s meeting with Donald Trump in June.

With Pyongyang’s progress towards denuclearisation in question, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely call for UN sanctions to be enforced, halting all oil shipments to North Korea. Sanctions have historically failed to encourage North Korean cooperation—just last year, Kim Jong Un declared UN Sanctions an ‘act of war’. Further sanctions have the potential to elicit the same reaction, halting Pyongyang’s efforts towards denuclearization.

But North Korea is already unlikely to fully commit to denuclearisation unless the US is prepared to make concessions of its own, such as the removal of troops from the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang’s commitment also lies only in a vague agreement to completely denuclearize. The implementation of a framework that outlines and a deadline for their completion is still sorely needed. Without further guidance and some concession, expect continued stagnation regarding denuclearization.

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