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Do not be distracted by the prospect of another Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un talk fest. The real worry is the deteriorating relationship between South Korea and Japan, Professor Robert Patman warns.
Speaking on Global Insight, the international relations specialist says there is no end in sight to nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula despite the prospect of more talks between United States president Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
"If there was an easy way of denuclearizing North Korea, surely it would have been done before,'' Prof Patman, who is in South Korea this week, says.
The pressing concern is the way the two liberal democracies in the region, South Korea and Japan, are in dispute with each other, Prof Patman says.
The South Korean supreme court has ruled citizens affected by the 1910 to 1945 Japanese occupation of Korea can individually seek redress from the Japanese government.
Japan has responded by restricting materials essential for South Korean production of communication technology devices.
"Given the seriousness of the nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula it's a shame the two liberal democracies in the region are not seeing eye-to-eye.
"This is a worrying situation.''