North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's secretive talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing which were not confirmed until after his return home appear aimed at improving both countries' positions ahead of Kim's anticipated meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump in the coming weeks.
The South Korean newswire service Yonhap reports that the two Koreas issued a joint statement confirming the time and place for the meeting following high-level talks featuring the head of the South Korean Unification Ministry.
The two leaders held talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. "Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity".
Trump tweeted Wednesday that he had received a message from Xi saying that his meeting with Kim "went very well" and that Kim "looks forward to his meeting with me".
At the same time, Washington claimed the meeting vindicated its approach to North Korea, while Japan expressed concern about being left out in the regional geopolitical cold.
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But Chinese state television gave similar coverage to Kim's meetings with Xi as they did to Xi's meetings with Trump a year ago, with an unusually long 14-minute report of what Xi and Kim discussed and where and how they met, though the initial secrecy of the trip meant no live coverage of the welcome ceremony.
For China, the visit also projects to its public that Xi is firmly in charge of steering Beijing's relations with North Korea in a way that favors China's interests. With the USA once announcing that if diplomacy doesn't work with North Korea, they would turn to military action, analysts are of the strong opinion that if the meeting goes wrong, the two nations would be much closer than ever to hitting off a war. "Look forward to our meeting!". His armored train, a legacy of his plane-phobic father, chugged its way on an unannounced trip to Beijing, marking his first visit to a foreign country as the leader of North Korea.
The current talks follow a surprise meeting this week between Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping. As of now, it is anybody's guess what the USA would do next if the Trump-Kim summit fails to produce a breakthrough. Despite his reportedly intense personal dislike of Kim, Xi rolled out the red carpet for the young North Korean leader, presumably to probe the latter's intentions behind his recent diplomatic charm offensive - and to ensure Pyongyang would not cut a deal that would harm China's interests in its upcoming talks with South Korea and the United States.
President Donald Trump went so far as to venture that there is now "a good chance" that peace between North Korea and the United States can be established.
A summit between Kim and President Donald Trump is also anticipated by the end of May.
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Conflict Armament Research says that suggests at the least an Iranian influence in the bombs' manufacture. The United Nations said that blockade raised the danger of mass starvation, and it was partially lifted.
Panmunjom's "Peace House", a building designated a neutral meeting ground for government officials of both Koreas, will host what will be the third inter-Korean summit in the history of the Korean split and the first in-person meeting between Kim and Moon.
It may also be that the North recognizes some hard realities. At the same time, China is also under increasing pressure because North Korea has built nuclear missile facilities just across the border.
Xi said: "China sticks to the goal of denuclearisation of the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula and solving problems through dialogue and consultation".
Throughout it all, China has portrayed itself as the one steering the agenda.
South Korean officials, nonetheless, applauded Kim for "reaffirming his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", as relayed by other North Korean officials.
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