The U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy will visit South Korea tomorrow.
The U.S. State Department announced on the 6th local time that Stephen Bigan, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and Special Representative for North Korea Policy, will visit Seoul, South Korea, from the 8th to 11th of this month.
At that time, he will meet with South Korean officials and discuss the joint commitment of the South Korean-American alliance, the Indo-Pacific region, and the continued close coordination between the two sides on the North Korean issue. South Korean media said that this was Bigan’s second visit to South Korea after five months, and in fact it was the last time he visited South Korea during his tenure.
Some analysts believe that the focus of Bigan’s visit is expected to focus on the control of the situation on the peninsula during the handover of the U.S. regime, rather than sending signals to find a breakthrough in the North Korean-U.S. negotiations.
The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a press release on the 7th, disclosing that Bigan visited South Korea for high-level consultations at the invitation of Choi Jong-jian, the first official (vice minister) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On the same day, Yonhap also revealed Bigan’s itinerary: he will meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-ho, Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lee Do-hoon, South Korea’s Unification Minister Lee In-young, and senior figures from Tsung-wahtai, the National Intelligence Agency and other departments.
In addition, Bigan plans to give a public speech to South Korea, or use this opportunity to share his feelings about North Korea’s work during his tenure and release information to North Korea.
According to the report, this is actually the last visit to South Korea during Bigan’s tenure. Given that U.S. President Trump’s term of office will end on January 20 next year, the focus of Bifundan’s visit to South Korea is expected to focus on the control of the situation on the peninsula during the handover of the U.S. regime, rather than sending signals to find a breakthrough in the North Korean-U.S. negotiations.
Especially considering that North Korea will hold the eighth Labor Party Congress in January next year, it may adjust its strategy and put pressure on the United States as Biden comes to power. The report believes that South Korea and the United States may hold consultations on this issue.
It is expected to pay attention to the control of the situation on the peninsula.
In addition, South Korean media said that what kind of information to North Korea will be released by Bigan’s visit and whether Trump’s message will be conveyed has attracted much attention.
South Korea’s Economy revealed that Bigan may release a message to North Korea in his speech on the 10th to restrain provocation and return to dialogue. However, most analysts believe that it is difficult to achieve visual results. Because Biden will come to power next month, Bigan, as a member of the Trump administration, is difficult to make a big diplomatic move.
Therefore, some analysts say that Bigan may focus on organizing the North Korean nuclear negotiations over the past two years rather than advancing contacts with North Korea. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry will also focus on the issue of letting the next U.S. government inherit North Korea’s nuclear policy. Relevant people from the South Korean Foreign Ministry said that the current task of the South Korean government is to control the situation on the peninsula. “The goal is to reduce the elements of North Korea’s provocation during the interposition of the U.S. regime and maintain the momentum of dialogue.”
The National Daily said that in the case of a change in the tone of U.S. policy towards North Korea, the South Korean government may hope that Bigan will play a role in allowing the next U.S. government to inherit the results of the existing North Korean-U.S. consultation. Some analysts believe that Began’s visit to South Korea during the regime overlap will not discuss sensitive outstanding cases such as denuclearization, but will convey information from the perspective of controlling the situation on the peninsula.
Shin Fanzhe, head of the Foreign Security Center of the National Institute of Strategic Studies of South Korea, analyzed that Trump has always boasted the fact of curbing North Korea’s provocations as his achievements in North Korea’s diplomacy. Bigan’s visit to South Korea is also to stop North Korea’s provocations and stabilize the situation on the peninsula during Trump’s presidency.