Kim's visit to China aims for diplomatic leverage for upcoming summits: experts

김정은 중국 비공식 방문의 목적과 영향

Analysts are busy trying to decipher the purpose and the timing of the surprise Pyongyang-Beijing meeting.
Some perceive it as a move to gain some insurance... perhaps an upper hand... in preparation of the summits with Seoul and Washington.
Park Heejun helps us examines what the North Korean leader may have aimed to accomplish through his trip.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's international debut this week came as a huge surprise,... especially considering that he's been laying low all these years since taking power in 2011.

The biggest question about the visit... is what he wants from President Xi Jinping, particularly ahead of the upcoming summits.

"There are going to be a lot of things on the agenda and objectives from the different sides. So considering the tension in relations between Beijing and Pyongyang,... I think it was an opportunity to deal with those issues and also to look at what Kim seeks to achieve in the two summits coming up in April and possibly May."

North Korea may have chosen this week to meet President Xi,... to make the most of the souring relations between the United States and China -- two countries that could be at the start of a trade war.

"China is not very happy with the United States at the moment after it ignited a trade war. This meeting with the North could give China more influence over the summits and ease its fears of being sidelined."

And in return,... North Korea could be in a better negotiating position at the bilateral summit with the U.S.
One thing that could make things harder for the North in those talks is that President Trump has recently appointed officials like his incoming national security advisor John Bolton... with extremely hawkish views on the regime.

But when it comes to how much influence China can actually exert on the Korean Peninsula,... experts say "not so much,"... since Kim's China visit has done nothing to change the stances of South Korea or the U.S.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.

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