From our correspondent in Beijing
This starts to become a habit. While a second summit is planned between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, the north Korean leader made in China, his fourth visit in less than a year. Arrived Tuesday in Beijing by train, it should again speak with the president Xi Jinping, who invited, depending on the agency’s official chinese and north Korean.
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Kim Jong-un undoubtedly seeks to co-ordinate its strategy with that of the “emperor red”, at a time when negotiations are in progress to determine the place of a future head-to-head with the american president on the nuclear issue. “He wants to be sure of the support of Beijing. If North Korea makes concessions, it will need China to push Washington to accept it as well,” emphasizes Cheng Xiaohe, a professor of international politics at People’s University in Beijing. In a similar approach, Kim Jong-un has already made three times in the Middle kingdom before and after his first summit with Donald Trump, last June, in Singapore.
This visit, scheduled until Thursday, comes as discussions between Pyongyang and Washington on the nuclear issue seem to be at an impasse. On the occasion of good wishes for the new year, Kim Jong-un said that his country could be forced to choose a “new way” to defend its sovereignty and interests if the United States continued to impose economic sanctions. This statement could be “a threat to move closer to Beijing, which should rather worry about the United States,” says Harry J. Kazianis, the think-tank the american conservative Center for the National Interest, quoted by Reuters.
Denuclearization of the peninsula
The number one north-Korean will, logically, try to get help from Beijing, its major diplomatic support and economic, to obtain an alleviation of international sanctions weighing on his country. China, a member of the security council of the united nations, voted the latest measures against Pyongyang, but considers that it is time to relax. Donald Trump wants his side to maintain as there will be no results “very positive” about the denuclearization.
The coming of Kim Jong-un, accompanied by his wife and several senior officials, coincides with the second day of talks in Beijing between chinese negotiators and american, who seek to put an end to the trade war between the two superpowers. By tightening the links with its neighbor, Beijing hopes to probably weigh more heavily in the negotiations, while the United States consider its key role to achieve the denuclearization of the peninsula. “China shows its growing influence on North Korea, and this may indirectly give advantages” to improve sino-us relations, analysis Cheng Xiaohe.
Kim Jong-un would have celebrated this Tuesday, its 35th anniversary
Up to his first trip to China last march, Kim Jong-un, who would have celebrated this Tuesday, its 35th anniversary, had never met with Xi Jinping since taking power in 2011. The relationship had degraded substantially in recent years, Pyongyang accused its neighbour of having voted for UN sanctions against it. And Beijing have been appalled by the nuclear tests in north korea.
But the situation has changed in 2018, with a spectacular reconciliation inter-Korean, and the commitment of Kim Jong-un in favour of a “denuclearization” of the peninsula at a summit in Singapore. Little progress has, however, been observed since then, each of the two parties refusing to take the first step. North Korea refuses to dismantle its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not make concessions, agreeing, in particular to lift the sanctions.