Tue Jan 8, 2019, 08:51 AM

Kim seeks to up ante with Xi summit: analysts

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's surprise trip to China could herald a new round of summitry on and about the peninsula, analysts say, but may also be an attempt to pressure US President Donald Trump as negotiations between them falter.

Discussions between Pyongyang and Washington over the North's nuclear arsenal have stalled since Kim and Trump's high-profile summit in Singapore, with the US insisting that sanctions must remain in place until it gives up its weapons, and the North demanding an immediate easing.

In his New Year's address -- always a key moment in the North Korean political calendar -- Kim said that if Washington persisted with its approach, "we may be left with no choice but to consider a new way to safeguard our sovereignty and interests."

With his visit to China, "Kim is eager to remind the Trump administration that he does have diplomatic and economic options besides what Washington and Seoul can offer," said Harry Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest in Washington.

The US should be "quite concerned" by any effort by Pyongyang to strengthen ties with Beijing, he added, as almost all North Korean trade flows through China and any improvement in relations would weaken the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" strategy.

With US and Chinese officials meeting in Beijing to address a trade row that has roiled global markets, he said, "the timing could not be any better" for the Chinese side. "It shows Beijing clearly has a North Korea card to play if it sees fit."

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Reply Kim seeks to up ante with Xi summit: analysts (Original post)
Troll2 Jan 2019 OP
uncledad Jan 2019 #1

Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2019, 01:10 PM

1. It all depends on Xi.

NK and SK are moving to end their hostile relationship a step at at a time.

Xi could play deal maker between the two with assurances for both sides.

Leaving trump out of any deal between the three.

Opening more trade from SK and investment into NK under China's belt and road policy.

Lowering the risk China would be drawn into a conflict it did not start and does not want.

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