Former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard has urged the Donald Trump administration to include South Korea and Japan in the process of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.
Hubbard delivered the opinion in a contribution to the Washington-based political newspaper, The Hill, on Thursday.
He said that there has been far less discussion of the equally important roles South Korea and Japan must play, with so much attention being paid to China’s potential role in pressing North Korea to end its nuclear development. The former ambassador also said that the two allies will also be crucial to any incentives that are necessary in the long-term settlement of the issues on the Korean Peninsula.
Hubbard said that despite its declaration that the time for patience is over, the Trump administration wants a peaceful resolution, which will eventually require a return to the negotiating table.
He stressed that China’s stronger pressure on Pyongyang will be a prerequisite for successful negotiations, but chances for success will be greatest if Seoul is playing a leading part with close coordination with the U.S.