Highly secretive China’s visit by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is significant as it raises questions about the purpose of suddenly adopting a diplomatic approach after carrying out provocative nuclear and missile tests for years.
On March 28, China’s official news agency finally announced that the green train had been carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju on their first foreign trip since Kim came to power in 2011.
Perhaps after having achieved the mission of making his country a nuclear deterrent, Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic and strategic summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping reflects that Pyongyang lays emphasis to its ties with economic superpower during the course of any deal that will be struck between the United States and North and South Korea.
The harsh sanctions by US and UN have halted exports of petroleum products, coal and other key materials to North Korea.The economic squeeze due to sanctions has prompted Kim to launch diplomacy during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and thereafter eight-member high-level North Korean delegation visited South Korea for the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Games in February and subsequent talks with South Korean officials.
Kim had claimed North Korea has nuclear missiles capable of hitting their country’s arch-enemy, the United States.
North Korea has been seeking a direct meeting with an American president for more than twenty years to register itself as a regional military power.Realizing that China will be led by Xi Jinping after the Constitutional amendment, pongyang maintained that China would certainly have a central role in the diplomatic maneuvering that will lead to a permanent deal on nuclear and also Kim Jong Un has strengthened the image of DPRK as a nuclear power that has stakes in the region.
Kim paid an unofficial visit to China from March 26 to 28 at the invitation of Xi Jinping and Beijing said Kim had pledged to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.Although the visit was officially labeled “unofficial”, Xi gave Kim: a welcoming ceremony with a full military honor guard in the Great Hall of the People, a formal meeting, welcoming banquet, a lunch between the two leaders and their wives, and a night performance of songs and dances.A ceremony for welcoming Kim Jong Un’s visit to China took place with splendor at the Great Hall of the People.
Extensive talks were held between Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping.Kim has started laying the groundwork for negotiations over its nuclear programme before the two high-level summits first between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April, and second between Kim and US President Donald Trump in May much before the Trump-Kim summit. The North Korean will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the first time on April 27 at Panmunjom, a neutral village on the border between the two countries.
By engaging diplomatically with South Korea and China, Kim has made it clear that DPRK wants to push the US out of the region. Kim is following Kim Jong II footsteps as his father also made a “surprise visit” to Beijing two weeks before his first-ever summit meeting with his South Korean counterpart in June 2000. Thereafter, Kim II courted Bill Clinton and then met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. In 2002, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid him a visit in Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, Trump team is preparing strategy to deal with Nuclear North Korea and for that President Donald Trump is set to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago on April 17 to discuss “the international campaign to maintain maximum pressure” on North Korea ahead of a planned summit between the president and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.