Ahead of meeting with Trump, Xi makes maiden visit to North Korea
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in North Korea on Thursday for a historic two-day visit aimed at strengthening “strategic communication and exchanges” between the two countries.
The trip marks the first time a Chinese President is visiting Pyongyang in 14 years, and only the second time a world leader will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in his country, reported The New York Times.
The visit has come ahead of Xi’s scheduled meeting with United States President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in the Japanese city of Osaka later this month.
Xi arrived in Pyongyang accompanied by his wife and several key aides, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi, top diplomat Yang Jiechi, and key economic adviser He Lifeng, reported CNN.
North Korea is believed to have sought a visit from the Chinese President for quite some time. Kim had invited Xi to Pyongyang back in March 2018, during his first trip to Beijing.
“What’s remarkable is how long it’s been for Xi to make this trip … if you consider how overdue it is, from a North Korean perspective it’s quite significant at least,” said John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Relations. “I think what the Chinese are trying to signal is that this is official recognition of Kim Jong Un’s North Korea.”
Analysists believe that the Chinese President’s visit to North Korea might help in reviving the unsuccessful disarmament talks between Trump and Kim since the Hanoi talks in February abruptly ended without reaching any deal.
“This visit highlights China’s unique influence and makes it easier for it to showcase potential contribution in helping move the denuclearization diplomacy forward,” said Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Beijing-based Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.
“If China’s mediation can prove helpful, it would also help demonstrate the usefulness of China to the United States as a constructive partner over key regional issues,” added Tong.(ANI)