Kim Jong Un begins two-day visit to China following denuclearisation summit

20 June, 2018, 00:43 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Tony Schwartz

The two leaders signed a joint statement that said the USA would give unspecified "security guarantees" to Pyongyang, while Kim pledged to the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

On Sunday, Chinese state media reported Kim had sent Xi a congratulatory letter and a floral basket for his birthday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China, in this undated photo released on May 9 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Joe Hagin, the White House official who orchestrated logistics for the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will depart the administration next month, according to officials.

The South Korean government and USA military officials were not told before Trump's announcement.

"Also, our government hopes China will play a constructive role in resolving this problem - we hope Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit will contribute to that".

This trip would also make Xi the foreign leader to have met with Kim most regularly, underlining the close historical relationship between China and North Korea.

"[Xi] has really closed up that border", the President said, in comments in which he thanked the Chinese President for his role in bringing Kim to the negotiating table.

Kim's regime is customarily highly secretive; some pundits even suggest that Kim fears internal opponents knowing his overseas travel plans, as his absence would provide them with the time and space to plot or execute a coup d'etat.

Ending the war games had been a long-standing demand by both North Korea and China.

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In the run-up to the Singapore summit, Kim visited China twice to meet with Xi.

In addition to discussing last week's Singapore summit, Kim is expected to ask China for help in easing economic sanctions in return for his pledge to denuclearize, according to Wang Dong, an worldwide relations expert at Peking University.

A trade war with the US could make it less attractive for China to use its influence over North Korea to help the USA achieve its objectives of denuclearization.

It said that Kim and Trump had "shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Beijing is particularly pleased by Mr Trump's announcement to suspend military drills. Trump and his point man for talks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said Kim could only see penalties relaxed after he "completely denuclearized", while North Korean state media said Trump agreed to a "step-by-step" process.

China may not have been at the table in Singapore but it retains strong influence behind the scenes, Wang said.

China has shown a willingness to be involved in U.S.

"The denuclearization deal with North Korea is being praised and celebrated all over Asia".

Sunday's edition of the ruling party organ the Rodong Sinmun, most recently, featured a front-page report that Kim Jong Un had letter and flower bouquet to the Chinese leader on the occasion of his birthday.

Beijing has long advocated a "dual suspension" or "freeze-for-freeze" approach - whereby North Korea halts its missile and nuclear testing and the US and South Korea halt their joint military exercises - for the easing tension on the Korean Peninsula.

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