As the second summit between Pyongyang and Washington is likely to occur "soon," U.S. experts saw an opportunity to further ease the nuclear tension on the Korean Peninsula amid concerns that the meeting may be proved futile.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on the sidelines of a UN meeting on Monday that his second meeting with the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un could happen "quite soon."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also told a press conference earlier in the day in New York that he looked forward to traveling to Pyongyang later this year to prepare for the Trump-Kim summit, their second face-to-face meeting following the historic summit held in Singapore in June.
U.S. experts on the Korean Peninsula issues welcomed the ongoing negotiations between the DPRK and the United States after several months' stalled talks.
"Diplomatic process is very important," said Joseph Yun, a former U.S. special envoy on the DPRK, adding that every move forward is important.
"Denuclearization of NK (the DPRK) is a worthy goal and always will be," said Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, in a tweet.
The possible Kim-Trump summit came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in's trip to Pyongyang last week, during which he held lengthy talks with Kim and signed the Pyongyang Declaration on further steps toward the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization.
"It (Kim-Moon meeting) is an opening that I hope Washington will use toward a constructive end," Yun, once serving as deputy assistant secretary for Korea and Japan at the U.S. State Department, told reporters at a conference call on Friday.
Yun also believed that Moon, who had spent hours with Kim during his stay in Pyongyang, could update Trump on where Kim wants to go on the whole project.
Despite the positive atmosphere generated from the Moon-Kim summit, challenges still remain before achieving the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, said experts.
The United States so far has largely ignored the DPRK's request in the Pyongyang Declaration for "corresponding measures" as the precondition for its further actions on denuclearization, such as the permanent destruction of its main Yongbyon nuclear facility.
The DPRK asked for a peace declaration before any serious progress on denuclearization, while the United States demands the progress should come first, said experts on Korean issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank.
Moon has reportedly encouraged the idea that Washington could consider a formal declaration to end the 1950-1953 Korean war. But some believed that it may arouse concerns on the U.S. side as the peace treaty may damage the justification for the United States to keep its 30,000 troops in South Korea.
Pyongyang and Washington also diverged on the definition of denuclearization with the DPRK eyeing the withdrawal of the U.S. nuclear umbrella over South Korea and Japan while the United States focusing on the DPRK's weapon program, noted Victor Cha, a senior adviser at the CSIS in an article co-written with his colleagues.
Besides, Trump's reaction toward Pyongyang has been seen as somehow problematic.
It has been "pretty much what I would call 'binary'," oscillating from "fire and fury" to no threat at all, said Yun.
"We are somewhere in between, where ... we have to do a constructive reaction, rather than going from one extreme to the other," Yun added.