The New Yorker's Susan Glasser recently talked with several former USA government officials and allied diplomats who have received briefings from Trump administration officials about North Korean denuclearization efforts, and they've all come away believing that leader Kim Jong-un has shown no intention of relinquishing his country's nuclear weapons.
Since the establishment of two competing Koreas on the peninsula in 1948, the rival states have neither recognized one another diplomatically, nor do they maintain embassies - or any other offices - in each other's capitals.
Thursday, South Korea's special adviser to the president for unification, foreign affairs and national security, Moon Chung-in, told reporters he personally believes the correct context in which to view the meeting is as an extension of the April 27 summit, which resulted in the Panmunjom Declaration.
The rival Koreas on Friday opened their first liaison office near their tense border to facilitate better communication and exchanges ahead of their leaders' summit in Pyongyang next week.
"North Korea is willing to denuclearize and therefore willing to discard existing nuclear weapons... and the United States is willing to end hostile relations with the North and provide security guarantees", Moon said.
He said that is if Kim Jong Un "is really willing to give up nuclear weapons in totality and return to the non-nuclear proliferation treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapons state".
In this November 29, 2017, file photo provided by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, third from left, and what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, in North Korea.
However, the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyung Nam University's Professor Kim Dong-yub said denuclearization is not the focus of the upcoming summit.
The neighbours are also discussing reconnecting railways and roads, and lessening guard posts along the heavily militarised border.
Picture taken on April 18, 2018.
The two Koreas have opened a "liaison office" that will allow them to communicate on a regular basis for the first time since the Korean War.
"If President Moon manages to help both sides move toward some kind of framework agreement, he could indeed wind up being a catalyst for negotiations, but that's a very tough task".
"From today, South and North Korea can have direct consultations 24 hours a day and 365 days a year over issues relating to advances in inter-Korean relations, peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. We will get it done together!"
"Their view is that North Korea is not serious about denuclearizing".
FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump holds up document that he and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un signed at their summit on Sentosa Island, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.
However, Kim sent a message to South Korean envoys last week that he wants to achieve denuclearization during Trump's first term.
That would provide a starting point for establishing a timeline for denuclearization, reduce concerns over North Korea's intent and make it clearer that the North bears the greater responsibility in the efforts to resolve the nuclear crisis, Cha said.
The Security Council is to meet on September 17 to discuss introduction of sanctions on North Korea at Washington's request.
Moon said: 'We have set off on a grand journey toward the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
The liaison office will be launched in the North's border town of Kaesong, with around 50 people each from the two Koreas expected to attend the opening ceremony that will start at 10:30 a.m., according to the ministry.
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