North Korea's Kim briefs China's Xi on Trump summit

Glen Norman
June 20, 2018

Kim is seeking relief from economic sanctions in return for his pledge to denuclearise and is believed to be seeking support from China for that, Japan's Nikkei business daily said in a dispatch from Beijing.

Kim first visited China as North Korea's leader in March, when he met with Xi in Beijing.

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

President Trump took credit for stopping "war games" - referring to large-scale semiannual joint military exercises by the US and South Korea that the countries are expected to halt as American and North Korean officials hammer out details of a denuclearization deal.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was back in Beijing this week, speaking with Chinese officials over his historic summit with President Trump and the possible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Trump promised Kim unspecified "security guarantees" in their joint statement after the Singapore meeting, which has been criticized for failing to secure North Korea's commitment to a disarmament plan.

Mr Trump earlier presented a standard for the first-stage goal of the denuclearisation process, although South Korea's foreign minister would not clearly agree on the point.

"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".

"[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.

Pyongyang has long considered the drills as acts of aggression toward the nation, and other nearby countries including China have called for their halt.

During his press conference in Singapore after the summit, Trump suggested he succeeded where past administrations had failed. Neither China or North Korea have released details about what the trip is for or an itinerary.

Kim will likely meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and debrief him on the results of the his meeting with Trump.

It was the first-ever summit between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.

Anticipation over what comes next is swirling amid concern from regional experts, who've argued North Korea (DPRK) and its allies China and Russian Federation came away the big winners of the summit.

"If the two parties can solidly implement the summit's consensus step by step, it will open a new, important phase of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula".

Chinese state media continue to provide glowing coverage of visits of Chinese delegations to North Korea, as well as the country's potential for economic growth. He noted that unlike on previous visits, China's state broadcaster CCTV announced Kim's visit before his departure.

This marks Kim's third visit to China.

The decision to halt military exercises in South Korea has bewildered many current and former USA defense officials, who only learned about it when Trump announced it in Singapore, after the summit with Kim.

Moon Chung-in also said that Trump's decision was a good answer to North Korea.

But as the days went by, the US and Seoul began discussions about temporarily suspending the large Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises that usually take place in August and possibly other joint drills while nuclear diplomacy with North Korea continues.

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