The week that was: Five North Korea articles you don’t want to miss To ensure you never miss out on the best MHI-NK Newscontent, we highlight the top five most-read features and interviews of the week
What to make of North Korea’s threats to cancel the Singapore summit , By Fyodor Tertitskiy

On Wednesday, May 16, at 0030 KST, North Korea informed its South Korean counterparts that it would withdraw from an inter-Korean meeting planned for the same day, citing ongoing joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.In a dramatic turnaround, the North Korean government returned to its more typical rhetoric on Tuesday, suspending talks with Seoul and threatening to scrap a meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set for June 12 in Singapore.The North Koreans were reacting to annual Max Thunder air combat drills, which involve fighter aircraft from both the U.S. and South Korean armed forces. The drills began on May 11 and involve more than 100 warplanes.

In a subsequent report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang also suggested that it could retract its participation in an upcoming summit North Korea-South Korean.
Since the announcement, North Korea appears to have doubled down on the diplomatic pullback, with a senior DPRK official adding on Thursday that there will be no further meetings with South Korea until “issues” are resolved. Pyongyang also appeared to walk back on any commitment to denuclearization, saying it did not need U.S. economic help or aid in exchange for its nuclear weapons.“The U.S. is clamoring that they will offer economic rewards and benefits if we abandon nuclear arsenals,” the DPRK’s first Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan said on Wednesday


 

What we talk about when we talk about North Korean denuclearization , By Abigail Stowe-Thurston and Adam Mount

North Korea has a history of attempting to exploit ambiguities in U.S. positions and loopholes in verification to advance its nuclear weapons programs. Achieving a mutually-acceptable definition of key terms like “denuclearization” is the primary challenge of negotiating with North Korea. Prominent statements from Trump officials that offer contradictory definitions of denuclearization threaten negotiations before US-Nort Korea Summit.


 

On Sino-DPRK border, residents cautious over ongoing diplomatic thaw , By Mark Robertson

Amid a dizzying succession of recent DPRK-focused summits, much of the world has been swept up by optimism over a potential thaw on the Korean peninsula and the opportunities they might bring. Publications as diverse as the Sino-DPRK border.


 

Thunderclouds over the honeymoon: Kim, Xi, and the looming Trump summit , By Adam Cathcart

Amid the welter of diplomatic moves that have occurred in and around the Korean peninsula in 2018, the two meetings in quick succession between the North Korean leader and China’s eternally-consolidating leader, Xi Jinping, have been one of the more curious elements.


 

How Pyongyang and Seoul could, formally, end the Korean War , By David S. Lee

The dramatic rapprochement between the two Koreas symbolized in last month’s summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in has left observers with some mix of hope and caution. The summit’s visual symbolism and emotional rhetoric evoked the desire of a divided nation to be whole.The successful inter-Korean summit has led many to hope that the two Koreas can finally sign a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War. But with other parties involved in the signing of the original Armistice Agreement, signing a peace treaty may be more difficult than it seems.

At the 2018 inter-Korean summit last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un declared to the world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula, reaffirming their willingness to head towards a new era of peace. In the Panmunjom declaration, the two leaders vowed to officially declare the end of the Korean War by the end of this year and work to replace the current 65-year-long armistice with a peace treaty. However, this needs not just the approval of the two Koreas, but also of the other parties involved in the original armistice agreement. In 1953, the Korean War had been temporarily halted with an armistice agreement, which was signed by representatives from the U.S.-led United Nations command, China and North Korea. But it wasn’t signed by a representative from South Korea, as then-President Rhee Syng-man opposed the idea. As so, the two Koreas need the approval of the other two signatories in order to sign a peace treaty which signals the beginning of exchanges and cooperation in various sectors. Many experts expect the process to first begin with a declaration of the end of the war between the two Koreas, which will be followed by the participation of the U.S., and finally the signing of the peace treaty together with the U.S. and China. With a long journey awaiting the two neighbors, it seems like the key to achieving prosperity and peace on the peninsula will depend on how the signatories judge the North Korean leader’s words, especially on his willingness to denuclearize.

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