Experts Say N.Korea 'Frustrated' in Runup to Summit with U.S.

中央日報
Participants attend the opening ceremony of the annual Asian Leadership Conference at the Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday.

North Korea's latest threat to pull out of a summit with the U.S. in June is a message that nobody should consider the regime "fair game" any longer, a former special representative for North Korea policy at the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

Joseph Yun was speaking at the 9th Asian Leadership Conference at the Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul hosted by the Chosun Ilbo.

He said North Korea seems to feel disappointed and frustrated amid mounting demands in the process of preparing for the summit.

But Sue Mi Terry at the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned that if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made the threat to win greater leverage in negotiations, it was a miscalculation. Terry, a former CIA intelligence analyst, said White House national security adviser John Bolton, whom the North singled out by name in the threat, will most likely feel confirmed in his warnings that the North cannot be trusted.

Participants made a variety of prediction at the conference.

American participants warned of excessive hopes for the summit. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry stressed the need to lower expectations and give it time.

Wednesday's conference was attended by some 1,500 senior officials and politicians, including National Assembly speaker Chung Sye-kyun, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, presidential policy adviser Jang Ha-sung, and Liberty Korea Party leader Hong Joon-pyo.

On Thursday, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder recounts his country's experience of reviving the economy in the early 2000s by pushing for drastic labor reforms and welfare cuts.

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