Don’t underestimate China’s role in the next Trump-Kim summit

11 January, 2019, 06:15 | Author: Donnie King
  • Kim arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for his fourth visit to Pyongyang´s sole major diplomatic friend

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

With another nuclear summit looming between Kim and US President Donald Trump, a meeting between President Xi Jinping and the North Korean leader was inevitable, according to analysts.

Kim said during his China visit this week that there is no change in North Korea's stance to faithfully carry out the agreement reached with US President Donald Trump during their Singapore summit, and pursue a peaceful resolution through discussion, KCNA said.

As for the presence of USA troops in South Korea, President Moon said it has nothing to do with the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which he noted includes both the North and military commitments by the U.S.

The trip - Kim's fourth to China since March - suggests negotiations over North Korea's nuclear arsenal are gaining momentum after months without high-level diplomatic exchanges.

Moon, a liberal who took office in 2017, has shuttled between North Korea and the United States to facilitate high-profile nuclear diplomacy including the Kim-Trump summit in Singapore last June.

"Corresponding measures must be devised in order to facilitate North Korea's continued denuclearization efforts", he added, such as the U.S. agreeing a "peace regime" and formally declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

He also said China would be ready to play a "positive and constructive role" towards maintaining peace and achieving denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, reported Xinhua.

Xi was quoted as saying that China supports the U.S. His delegation was seen off by high-ranking Chinese officials and honour guard at a Beijing train station and could return to North Korea as soon as Thursday morning, Yonhap said.




President Xi said that he hoped that the two sides could meet "halfway", according to state media.

Conditions for resuming two key economic projects between North and South Korea - the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where Southern companies used to employ North Korean workers, and Southern tourism to Mount Kumgang in the North "have essentially been met already", he said.

With over 90 percent of North Korea's trade volume flowing through China's borders, Xi can control the faucet of North Korea's economy better than Trump by choosing to enforce those sanctions or take a more relaxed approach.

Mr Moon said Mr Kim's latest trip to Beijing signalled that a second summit was imminent.

Kim's Beijing visit was seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of United Nations sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy. Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the news agency said.

Those demands were in response to Pyongyang's initial, unilateral steps toward denuclearisation that included dismantling its only known nuclear testing site and a key missile engine facility.

Tuesday was Kim's birthday but there was no word of any official celebration.

"China has been an important force in promoting the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and peace and stability on the peninsula", said Lu.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said Kim visited a technology development zone on the outskirts of Beijing on Wednesday and spent around 20-30 minutes touring a factory run by famed traditional Chinese medicine maker Tong Ren Tang.

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