[Current Issues & Policies] No. 2020-42
Foreign Affairs Outlook for 2021
Political Affairs in the U.S. and the U.S.-DPRK Relations
Dr. JUN Bong-Geun
Professor, Korean National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA)
The matter of keen interests of the U.S.-DPRK relations in 2021 is on whether the Biden administration will return to “strategic patience” and whether North Korea will launch major nuclear and missile provocations. But rather, “strategic engagement” of the U.S. and “strategic patience” of North Korea are expected. Both North Korea and the U.S. are foreseeable to show lull conditions in U.S.-North Korea relations due to the concentration of the domestic problems such as public health crisis and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 Pandemics. The Biden administration is anticipated to complete its review of North Korean policy at an early stage and will seek dialogue with the North by following the Democratic Party’s traditional engagement policy. In the second half of 2021, the U.S. is predicted to engage in negotiations with North Korea for the first stage of “preliminary agreement” in line with its strategy for a phased denuclearization. South Korea’s Moon Jae-in administration is likely to move forward aggressively with the U.S.-ROK-DPRK triangular diplomacy for the progress of denuclearization and peace settlement during his term in office.
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※ Translator’s note: This is a summarized unofficial translation of the original paper which was written in Korean. All references should be made to the original paper.
※ This article is written based on the author’s personal opinions and does not reflect the views of the Sejong Institute.