The Co-Convenors of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) welcomed the Summit between the leaders of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) proposed for May as an extremely positive development in dissolving tensions surrounding the Korean Peninsula. They also welcomed the Summit between the leaders of the DPRK and the Republic of Korea in April which will be important in its own right and for preparing the ground for the US–DPRK Summit.
The APLN reiterated that as constructive dialogue is the sole method of addressing security concerns from both sides, the summit is a powerful statement of intent by the leaders of both sides to address threat perceptions and misperceptions. The APLN called upon other participants in the Six-Party Talks to fully support the exchanges between the DPRK, the ROK and US. It finally reaffirmed its offering of good offices to facilitate dialogue at all levels.
The Statement was released as an outcome from the APLN Northeast Asia Regional Meeting titled “APLN Initiative over the Key DPRK Issues”, hosted in Seoul on March 21st, 2018. The meeting aimed to identify realistic steps to take advantage of the opportunity and make a breakthrough in de-nuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Participants discussed technical nuclear developments in North Korea and lessons from previous diplomatic efforts, then deliberated on several areas of managing the problem.
The meeting started with opening remarks from Prof. Chung-in Moon, one of the Co-Convenors of the APLN, and then welcoming remarks by former ROK Prime Minister Hongkoo Lee who expressed his hope for continuing positive developments to ultimately resolve nuclear arms proliferation in Northeast Asia.
In Session I, “Overview: How We Got Here & Where to Go”, the members discussed lessons from previous works and step-wise options to solve the DPRK nuclear impasse.
In Session II, “Understanding the North Korean Nuclear Quagmire: Reality Check”, participants delved into a more technical area regarding fuel cycle, weaponization, missiles and delivery capability and proliferation.
In Session III, “Lessons Learned from Previous Cases”, members looked back to the past to learn from the successes and failures of the Geneva Agreed Framework, Six-Party Talks and the Iranian case.
In Session IV, “How to Manage the North Korean Nuclear Problem”, participants examined step-wise approaches, verification mechanisms and regional cooperation and coordination regarding the North Korea nuclear issue.
For more details regarding the meeting, the full report can be downloaded from the left column.