North Korea’s Kim discusses expected summit with Trump in talks in China

11 January, 2019, 11:14 | Author: Frank Williams
  • The train used by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un departs from Beijing on Wednesday

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has the support of Chinese President Xi Jinping for an expected second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Kim's visit comes as a U.S. delegation opened a second day of talks with Chinese counterparts in Beijing aimed at ending the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

A Cheong Wa Dae spokesman declined to say whether Seoul was informed of Kim's visit by either North Korea or China.

"Xi Jinping said that the legitimate issues raised by the DPRK are rightful demands and that he fully agrees that the DPRK's reasonable interests should be justly resolved", it said.

Trump and Kim reached an agreement to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", during their first meeting in June in Singapore.

Trump said last week that he will be setting up a meeting with Kim "in the not-too-distant future" to restart talks about the North's nuclear programs after their summit in Singapore last summer.

"But Kim also warned that if the United States continues to impose sanctions and put pressure on North Korea, it may have to "find a new way" of achieving peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula".

China is the North Korea's sole major ally and key trade partner.

Kim visited a pharmaceutical plant that makes traditional Chinese medicine on Wednesday and met Xi again for lunch before heading home.

Kim's visit coincides with his birthday, as well as the China-US trade talks, that started in Beijing on Monday.

More news: Heathrow airport says flights have resumed after drone disruption

"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.

North Korea wants relief from the multiple sets of sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, while the United States wants them to remain in place until it gives up its arms - something Pyongyang has made no public promise to do.

While no details were released about an agenda in China, Kim has been seeking relief from sanctions, a peace declaration to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War and more investment.

The North Korean leader's motorcade was spotted entering the Beijing central railway station on Wednesday afternoon, and the train departed shortly after on a day-long ride back to the northeast border, according to AFP journalists.

We can safely assume that Kim Jong-un has known all along that America wouldn't be abandoning their own nuclear weapons arsenal or unilaterally pulling all of our troops out of South Korea.

This position is being supported by China.

North Korea has a well-honed talent for playing the world's major players against one another, leading analysts to believe that Kim at this point may be using that skill for leverage to get what he wants from a second summit with Trump: both striking a deal with the U.S. and keeping his nuclear weapons.

Trump had yet to respond to Kim Jong-un's China trip but tweeted Tuesday: "Talks with China are going very well!" Experts agree that while neither the USA nor China is "winning" in the trade war, China may be at a disadvantage.

The North needs to take "more bold, practical measures for denuclearisation" Moon said Thursday - a departure for the South Korean leader, who has stressed engagement with Pyongyang to bring it to the negotiating table.

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