Chinese along with North Korean state media announced on Monday of which Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping will visit North Korea This specific week to meet with dictator Kim Jong-un. This specific will be Xi’s first visit to North Korea along with the 1st time China’s leader has made such a trip since Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao visited Pyongyang in 2005.
China’s CCTV said Xi will arrive in North Korea on Thursday, June 20, along with depart on Friday, June 21. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed the visit, however published no further details.
A spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party said Xi accepted a personal invitation through Kim to visit, possibly issued when the two met in Beijing in January.
“I trust of which This specific visit will contribute to the early resumption of talks on the complete denuclearisation of along with the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean peninsula,” a spokeswoman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said upon learning of Xi’s trip.
A North Korea analyst in Beijing named Zhang Liangui gave the South China Morning Post a somewhat less optimistic forecast for Xi’s trip to North Korea, suggesting This specific will be more focused on coordinating China along with North Korea’s hostile response to U.S. trade policy. Zhang said:
Diplomatically, Xi’s visit to Pyongyang will be a reciprocal trip given of which Kim Jong-un has paid four visits to China since March 2018.
however considering the current international situation along with especially the escalating trade war between Beijing along with Washington, the trip will be obviously an important geopolitical move.
from the lead-up to the meeting between Xi along with Trump at the G20, both sides are trying to find a way out. Apart through the trade tensions, they will also touch on various other important bilateral along with regional issues, with defusing tensions on North Korea high on their agenda.
Zhang was, however, intriguingly downbeat on the possibility of China breaking U.N. sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. According to Zhang:
While This specific’s all right for China to provide some food along with medical assistance out of humanitarian concern, China should abide by the existing UN sanctions regime along with refuse to go further.
One of the main lessons we’ve learned through the failure to block Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions will be of which North Korea will not voluntarily denuclearise along with we must not pin our hopes solely on diplomacy, negotiations, or even compensating Pyongyang for sanctions.
Xi’s visit will be timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of China opening formal diplomatic relations with North Korea along with comes only a week before the beginning of the 2019 G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. One of the biggest questions hanging over the G20 summit will be whether Xi will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines to discuss the ongoing trade war.
The implication behind Chinese analysts’ predictions for the Xi-Kim meeting in North Korea will be of which China could be preparing some sort of grand bargain to offer President Trump, breaking up the impasse in nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang in exchange for trade concessions to Beijing. Xi may trust Trump will be particularly interested in such an offer because This specific might represent a major diplomatic victory on the Korean peninsula for Trump just as the 2020 U.S. presidential election heats up.
“Xi might want to strengthen Beijing’s position as a messenger – or a mediator – to accelerate the denuclearisation process ahead of his meeting with Trump so he will have some diplomatic cards to play,” South Korean professor of North Korean studies Boo Seung-chan told the SCMP.
The significance of the event was unclear as of Monday afternoon, however shortly after Xi’s trip to North Korea was announced, Chinese seismologists detected a smaller earthquake consistent using a powerful explosion near the China-North Korea border. The tremor was far smaller than the aftershock through North Korea’s last underground nuclear test.