I have been saying for years that the ROK government should only agree to another Inter-Korean Summit if it is held in Seoul. Mr. William Brown an adjunct professor at Georgetown University shares this assessment:
Will President Moon Jae-in accept North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to Pyongyang?
It must be a very tricky decision for Moon. If he raises the issue of denuclearization, North Korea might revert to its belligerent stance.
But if Moon opts to go to Pyongyang for talks for the sake of talks it could jeopardize the alliance between South Korea and the United States, or other allies.
William Brown, adjunct professor at Georgetown School of Foreign Service, suggests Moon make a counteroffer by inviting Kim to Seoul to avoid the same old mistakes his liberal predecessors have made.
“We have seen far too many VIP trips to Pyongyang over the past decades, and every time, Pyongyang has hoodwinked the visitors into giving it something, even billions of dollars,” Brown said in an interview, citing former President Kim Dae-jung.
“I’m sure Kim Jong-un is well aware of that and in need of big money. So, Kim wants an improvement in inter-Korean ties but only to help him pursue his new ‘unification’ dream.”
He pointed out the North has “engagement” down to a fine art, knowing how to cater to foreign and South Korean egos. [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but after the first Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang with ROK President Kim Dae-jung, the then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il promised to visit Seoul at the next Inter-Korean Summit. During the administration of ROK President Roh Moo-hyun a second Inter-Korean Summit was held in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-il said that he could not hold the summit in Seoul due to “security concerns”.
This is of course nonsense, the real reason he did not want to come to Seoul is because of the propaganda value it gives to the ROK government. The Kim regime has long held that the ROK government is an illegitimate puppet regime of the evil American Imperialists™. Kim Jong-un traveling to Seoul for talks gives legitimacy to the ROK government and eliminates the propaganda value to North Korea of ROK government leaders making kowtowing tribute visits to Pyongyang.
Considering the North Korean sympathizers within the Moon administration it is unlikely they would demand that the next Inter-Korean Summit be held in Seoul. Instead if the Trump administration says they would participate in a Inter-Korean Summit if it is held in Seoul this may force the ROK government’s hand to ask that the summit be held in Seoul. This would then put the onus on the Kim regime to see how serious they are about peace. If Kim Jong-un refuses to attend an Inter-Korean Summit in Seoul it shows he is not serious about peace and instead just looking for another payday.