A Unification Ministry official has called for a new negotiation structure with North Korea once dialogue resumes, which would seek the denuclearization of the North in exchange for allaying its fears of regime change.
Kim Nam-joong, head of the ministry's Unification Policy Office, made the assertion in a paper distributed ahead of an international seminar hosted by the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul on Monday.
In the paper, Kim proposed the new structure over the current approach which focuses on providing economic aid to the North in return for denuclearization.
Kim said the opportunity cost for North Korea of abandoning its nuclear weapons has grown as its nuclear capacity has significantly advanced since 2005 when the September 19th Joint Statement was signed.
He said that at the same time, the North’s concerns over its security have grown given the uncertainty of its third-generation power succession and the downfall of Middle Eastern countries after scrapping their nuclear programs.
The paper comes as North Korea has reportedly said that it is willing to negotiate with the U.S. on its nuclear program as long as Russia plays a role in those talks.
A parliamentary delegation of Russia's lower house, which returned from a recent trip to North Korea, said the North expressed its intent for dialogue with the U.S.