On the surface, South Korean President Moon continues to demonstrate the appearance of being the driving force behind finding a peaceful resolution for the Korean peninsula but is it working?
The answer to this question and many more may be answered next week, when Tokyo will host the Seventh Trilateral Summit on May 9. This summit will bring together Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the first time in three years.
The last time the countries participated in formal discussions ended with the Sixth Trilateral Summit held on November 2015 , in Seoul ended in a stalemate.
South Korea's President Moon will brief Japan's Prime Minister and China's Premier on the full extent of last week's inter-Korean Summit. The Blue House reported that meeting would likely focus on North Korea’s engagement with the international community and North Korea's commitment on the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
Due to Kim Jong Un's international defiance over nuclear development and missiles testing since assuming the role of Supreme Leader following his father's death in 2011, many world leaders have until recently refused any form of discussions. Not surprisingly as a result of North Korea's determination of seemingly being bent on self-destruction has a direct effect on South Korea's international relationships as well.
Reports have emerged that during a recent phone conversation South Korean President Moon expressed Kim Jong Un's willingness to opening talks with Japan's Prime Minister Abe, and other countries. However, all involved in the current discussions are taking a "wait and see" approach and this includes especially Japan and the United States.
Remember the inter-Korean Summit happened less than one week ago. For any country willing to organize a summit with the DPRK is going to take time. As Kim Jong Un has only recently expressed his willingness to engage in formal discussion with other world leaders.