The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, left today to the United States to try to concretize a strategy facing the summit with North Korea amid a growing fear that the dialogue with the Pyongyang regime will fail.
What was intended to be a simple preparatory meeting between Moon and US President Donald Trump, now gains importance because of the nervousness that permeates Washington and Seoul after months of rapprochement and good words with the regime.
The meeting that Moon and Trump have scheduled in Washington on Tuesday will only have the presence of their respective interpreters, in an attempt to bring out the utmost sincerity in the face of the crucial meeting on June 12 in Singapore, which will discuss the future of the North Korean nuclear program.
Last week, Pyongyang abruptly suspended a high-level meeting with Seoul, arguing that joint military maneuvers that South Korea and the United States are holding these days are an attempt to invade their territory.
Hours later he assured that the summit with Trump was in danger due to the pressure of the White House to impose a “unilateral” denuclearization model.
This shift has generated, according to US media, uneasiness in the White House, something palpable if one takes into account that Trump and Moon spoke on Sunday by phone to speak about North Korea despite having arranged a face-to-face meeting just 48 hours later.
According to the press in Washington, the contrast between the tone used last week by Pyongyang and the affability that staged Moon and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, at the summit held on April 27 on the border between the two Korea
The leaders of both Koreas, technically still at war, signed a declaration at the end of that meeting, in which they committed themselves to work for the establishment of peace and the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.
Pyongyang has now decided to suspend contacts with Seoul just three weeks after the meeting at the border and has starred in gestures that jeopardize the good tuning shown so far.
In this sense, the regime has decided to resume its demand that the South return a group of North Korean waitresses who defected to the neighboring country in strange circumstances in 2016.
It is also symptomatic that South Korean journalists who have traveled to Beijing to fly from there to the dismantling ceremony of the nuclear test center this week carried out by North Korea do not know whether or not they will eventually obtain visas despite having been initially invited by the regime.
In this context it is expected that during the meeting on Tuesday Moon and Trump try to determine a strategy around the demands that Washington could raise in the meeting and also to the North Korean expectations.
Pyongyang has adamantly refused to accept a “unilateral” disarmament model such as the one signed between the US and Libya in 2003, for which the new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has publicly advocated.
However, Trump, who recently signed the withdrawal of the nuclear pact with Iran, has already shown his dissatisfaction with the options of progressive disarmament and based more on the “gesture by gesture” because, as he has argued, they were already used without results by his predecessors when negotiating with the regime.
Many believe that Moon, a crucial figure in achieving an important rapprochement with North Korea and mediating between Washington and Pyongyang, should try to convey to Trump now the sensations he drew from his personal meeting with Kim Jong-un in April. facing the June summit.
Of this meeting it can depend in good part that the historical appointment – it would be the first meeting between leaders of North Korea and the USA – is gotten out with new advances to obtain a solution to the North Korean nuclear question. efe