South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s special envoy will visit the North Wednesday. Moon held a meeting with security-related summit Tuesday and requested the special envoy to reap fruitful results during its visit to the North. He had a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, promising to mediate North Korea and the United States. “I will keep in mind that the peace of the Korean Peninsula can only be achieved hand in hand with denuclearization and will try my best to live up to the expectations of our citizens,” said Moon’s special envoy Chung Eui-yong. North Korean media, however, criticized the United States that it is “even trying to block the narrow path that was prepared with hardship between the two Koreas,” and emphasized that South Korea “should not walk on eggshells,” putting forward “national cooperation.”
The main goal of this special envoy is crystal clear. It is to come up with a breakthrough to recover denuclearization negotiation between North Korea and the United States that has come to a halt. The special envoy will deliver South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s personal letter and U.S. President Donald Trump’s massage. It needs to suggest a settlement of its own and acquire a positive response from North Korea. Furthermore, the special envoy needs to deliver the result of its negotiation with North Korea to the United States and come up with countermeasures.
North Korea and the United States were not able to reach an agreement over requests by each other – denuclearization and security. The United States established prerequisites of reporting nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities that will be abolished while North Korea argued for a declaration of the June 25 Korean War, which incorporates security measures for North Korea. With controversies over order, whether declaration should come before report, not to mention details that are to be incorporated, it appears to be difficult to reach a settlement.
The duty of this special envoy this time will face is quite difficult compared to the one six month ago, when it opened ways for discussions in the Korean Peninsula. The role and responsibility of the mediator to recover the relationship that has gone sour with the organizer, who arranges the first meeting, is completely different. In the event the mediator incurs suspicion from any one of the parties, the situation will deteriorate. South Korean special envoy Chung Eui-yong, however, said, “If necessary, we need to lead denuclearization negotiation through the development of inter-Korean relationship.” This reporter is concerned that there lies a dangerous optimism within such remark that there shall be no problem in South Korea’s relationship with North Korea despite the over-speeding inter-Korean relationship.