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Beijing envoy says Kim Jong Un's China visit will help towards denuclearisation
30 Marcha 2018, 08:53 | Crisanna Felipe
Inside North Korea's armoured SUPER-TRAIN - with pathetic 37mph TOP SPEED
News broke Tuesday confirming a rumor that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un had met with Chinese President Xi Jingping over the weekend in Beijing.
China briefed Trump on Kim's visit and the communication included a personal message from Xi to Trump, the White House said in a statement. "It's been very hard for us to post on our public account", a Chinese person who edits an online account about North Korea told Reuters.
To many North Korea watchers, that sounds like old wine in a new bottle.
Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Dongguk University, shared the view.
A person familiar with the discussions told Reuters that the list of USA demands included a reduction in China's 25 per cent tariff on autos and greater access for U.S. firms to China's financial sector. "If its talks with the U.S. turn out well, it needs China's economic assistance". China must not ease up on sanctions without waiting for Pyongyang to take this move.
Only two such meetings between the countries have ever been held since the Korean War, in 2000 in Pyongyang and in 2007 again in Panmunjom.
North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date a year ago, plus three missiles that could hit the U.S. mainland.
As those on social media tried to speculate about who was visiting amid the unusually tight security, mentions of North Korea on the main platforms were blocked.
Kim's appearance in Beijing involved nearly all the trappings of a state visit, complete with an honour guard and banquet at Beijing's Great Hall of the People. And it happened to be held ahead of the Pyongyang-Washington summit.
Kim is not the first in his family to visit Zhongguancun.
Kim's trip is also in China's interest, other experts say. There's also the key question of how a nuclear agreement could be made credible and verifiable - North Korea's pattern of reneging on its promises after pocketing concessions is well-established.
"It is a win-win for China, too". And by reaching out to Kim, Chinese President Xi Jinping reasserted Beijing's desire to control regional developments after standing on the sidelines of the flurry of diplomatic activity between Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang in recent weeks. Reinforcing their ties would weaken "Trump's hand in negotiations and diminish further the effectiveness of USA military threats".
But complicating the situation is Kim's remarks made during his trip to China.
"We still have a fair number of issues to resolve on a working-level for preparations over the next month", a North Korean official told the South Korean delegation.
"China's engagement may not be a bad thing, given that China can help ensure North Korea makes good on its commitment or help verify it has kept the commitment, should it make one", Chung said.
Japan has urged the United States and South Korea to conform with its basic stance of not loosening pressure on North Korea unless it takes specific steps toward denuclearization.
Park Won-gon, a professor at Handong University, pointed out that Kim's remark shows that China and North Korea remain far apart from the United States and South Korea on how to achieve denuclearisation. The agenda will primarily focus on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Reuters reported.
Travelling on his mysterious green armoured train, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's diplomatic route to his planned nuclear summit with the US president wound its way first through Beijing. We will continue to play a constructive role in this matter and to work with all, including the DPRK, for the thawing-out of the crisis, ' the Chinese president stressed. But if the facility stays, so does the North's plutonium-enrichment capability, which could be a hard sell to national security hawks, including national security adviser John Bolton.
"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea", he said.
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