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Many Cautious Over Moon’s Peace Treaty Proposal

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has begun making overtures toward North Korea. But some international experts are saying that Moon needs to take a more cautious approach until Pyongyang agrees to abandon the development of its missile and nuclear programs.

The concerns arose after Moon said on July 6 that he was willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and put all issues on the negotiating table, including the signing of a peace treaty.

Considering that the United States, a South Korea ally, has been seeking harsher sanctions against the North in response to a successful test firing of an ICBM on July 4, the move could potentially hurt the alliance between the two nations.

“Moon’s more conciliatory approach toward Pyongyang could create some bumpy moments ahead between himself and President Trump, so long as Trump sticks to his recently reassumed hard line,” said Sean King, Executive Vice President of New York City consulting firm Park Strategies.

However, Moon’s overtures may not have the desired effect since he is going against a tide of international sentiment and because Kim would want to deal directly with the U.S. rather than including South Korea in any negotiations.

Katharine H.S. Moon, a Senior Fellow at the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institute, says that President Moon may be signaling to Trump and Kim that they’re getting too close to military confrontation. Moon may also believe that diplomacy and some sort of reconciliation efforts are increasingly urgent.

Whatever the outcome of Moon’s attempts to establish a closer relationship with Pyongyang, the experts do support Moon’s proposal for the two Koreas to resume reunions of families separated by the Korean War and for cooperation on the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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