Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Kim Jong-un makes birthday visit to China

Kim Jong-un makes birthday visit to China

Kim flew to Dalian in May and Beijing in June for his second and third meetings with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and to Singapore - on board a borrowed Chinese airliner - for his June summit with US President Donald Trump.

In his address, Kim urged the United States to take reciprocal measures in exchange for denuclearization steps the North Korean dictator has claimed his country has taken since a year ago.

"With Chinese and USA officials meeting to discuss how to end the growing trade war between the two superpowers, it shows Beijing clearly has a North Korea card to play if it sees fit". Still, that risks bringing North Korea under greater control of its larger and wealthier neighbor - something the regime has fought to avoid over the past six decades.

"Kim will take advantage of the trade and other disputes between the USA and China, he is also going to take advantage of Trump's domestic troubles and squeeze compromise from Trump in the next meeting".

A sedan, believed to carry North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, leaves a train station with a convoy in Beijing.

The North's Korean Central News Agency said Kim departed Monday afternoon with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and other top officials.

Some analysts say that China Pyongyang's key diplomatic ally and main source of trade could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the United States trade talks.

The North Korean leader will be in China until Thursday, making this his longest visit to date.

In his New Year's address, Kim said he is ready to meet with Trump "anytime".

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Monday said that China's economy is more vulnerable to the fallout from the trade dispute.

Neither KCNA nor Xinhua provided further information on Kim's itinerary, though South Korea's Hankyoreh newspaper said on Monday that he will meet with China's Xi for a fourth summit.

He has been invited by the Chinese president for a three-day visit.

By flaunting close relations with Kim, Xi appears to be attempting to make US President Donald Trump believe China's cooperation is indispensable to attain Washington's goal of "complete" denuclearization of North Korea, analysts say. "Kim will coordinate his US policy with Xi before talking to Trump, like he did before the June 2018 summit".

Bloomberg News optimistically took Kim's meeting with Xi as a sign "negotiations over North Korea's nuclear arsenal may be regaining momentum after months without high-level diplomatic meetings".

Kim used the same train to visit China past year.

China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has agreed to several rounds of punishing economic sanctions against the North.

"China has always supported both sides to continue to hold talks and to reach a positive outcome", Lu said.

But despite a cooling of relations a year ago with China over the imposition of sanctions, China has and remains its most important economic and diplomatic ally.

"The two leaders will further communicate over the issue of sanctions to further refine their previously general and vague attitudes", said Cheng Xiaohe, professor at Renmin University's School of International Studies in Beijing. The officials, North Korea said, wished him "good successes in his visit to China and a safe trip".

Kim's arrival in Beijing coincides with U.S.

Kim's visit comes as a USA delegation opened a second day of talks with Chinese counterparts in Beijing aimed at ending the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

"If the United States does not keep the promise it made in the eyes of the world, and out of miscalculation of our people's patience, it attempts to unilaterally enforce something upon us and persists in imposing sanctions and pressure against our Republic, we may be compelled to find a new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state", Kim said. "I expect they will continue to do so".

"We have shown our sincerity, we have established our stand in this, so we don't need other actions to gain the confidence of the US".

Like this: