denuclearization in the Korean peninsula is a major issue to be resolved between the US and north korea. Kim Jong-un had promised a “Christmas gift” to the United States and there was speculation on the nature of the gift. The US President expected a flower vase. However, it was an eventless Christmas and Donald Trump sent across birthday greetings to Kim Jong-un in the New Year because they share a special personal relationship. These developments have encouraged the Americans to broach the topic of a fresh round of talks with North Korea on denuclearization.

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien confirms this. He indicated that the United States has reached out to Pyongyang on the subject of resumption of talks. It wants to continue from where they had left off in Stockholm in early October last year.

Daily Mail UK quotes Robert O'Brien saying – “we’ve been letting them know, through various channels, that we would like to get those back on track.” North Korea appears to be non-committal.

Pyongyang wants new proposals on denuclearization

A statement published by state news agency KCNA says it acknowledges the birthday greetings sent by President Donald Trump to its leader Kim Jong-un.

It goes on to add - “Their personal relationship was not enough for a return to talks.” Trump has been relying on his personal rapport with Kim to pursue the subject of denuclearization. It has been going on since 2018 but has kept stumbling at the working level.

Daily Mail UK says North Korea has made itself clear that it wants the US to come up with new proposals because it would not like to discuss proposals put forth by Donald Trump at his last summit with Kim in Hanoi in February 2019.

This is the stand of North Korea as revealed by an advisor of the Foreign Ministry. Incidentally, Kim Jong-un had mentioned that there was no justification to remain bound by a self-declared moratorium on nuclear weapons. He also dropped hints about a “new strategic weapon.” South Korean President Moon Jae-in feels there is a need to improve ties with the North and expressed his willingness to meet the North Korean leader.

Denuclearization is the main agenda

According to CNN, the willingness of the Trump administration to resume diplomatic negotiations with North Korea is significant. Chairman Kim had indicated denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula would depend on a change in the policy of the US, which was hostile. There were working-level talks between the two countries last year in Stockholm, Sweden. US officials described it as a “good discussion" but North Korea blamed Washington for the failure of talks. North Korea's top negotiator Kim Myong Gil said – “The break-up of the negotiation without any outcome is totally due to the fact that the US would not give up their old viewpoint and attitude." Robert O'Brien interprets the non-receipt of the promised “Christmas gift” as a positive and encouraging sign.

Trump must convince Kim Jong-un about denuclearization

US President Donald Trump has been pursuing the subject of denuclearization ever since he took over the reins. He met Kim Jong-un thrice. The first time was in Singapore in June 2018 followed by Hanoi in February 2019 and then at the DMZ in June 2019. The two leaders have built a personal rapport and Trump must now convince the leader of North Korea to go in for denuclearization. He is the senior and must explain to Kim the advantages of abandoning his nuclear ambitions. That will lift the sanctions imposed on his country by the global community and pave the road to prosperity. It could also go a long way to reunify the two Koreas.