By Liu Xin, Global Times
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un began a surprise two-day visit to China on Tuesday, his third trip to China in three months, with analysts saying that Kim is expected to discuss the implementing details of the document signed during the US-North Korea summit in Singapore.
Kim visited China in March and May when Chinese President Xi Jinping met with him in Beijing and Dalian in Northeast China’s Liaoning Province bordering North Korea.
This trip follows Kim’s summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore, in which the two signed an agreement on denuclearization and established a new relationship.
“Kim may discuss details on implementing the agreement signed in Singapore as North Korea needs assistance on denuclearization and China is an indispensable part of a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula,” Zhang Huizhi, vice dean of the Northeast Asian Studies College at Jilin University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Zhang said that as a concerned party, China has played an active role in promoting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and will continue to broker negotiations between the US and North Korea, especially on the most disputed issue – the US stance on a complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement – while North Korea insists on a step-by-step denuclearization plan.
China’s dual suspension proposal – North Korea stops weapons tests and the US and South Korea stop military drills – has worked out, and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula is favorable for both sides to walk down, Zhang said.
South Korea and the US have decided to “suspend” all planned activities for their annual joint military exercises scheduled for August, the South Korean Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
South Korea said in a statement that the two countries’ military authorities would suspend all planning activities for the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a computer-simulated command post exercise which the ministry said is defensive in nature.
The South Korean Defense Ministry said it will continue to consult with its US counterpart on further measures, noting that no decision had yet been made on other war games between Seoul and Washington.
“Other war games” refers to the joint springtime war games, codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.
This year’s Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military drills were staged in April, as they were pushed back for the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics.
Kim may also discuss North Korea’s economic development and future bilateral cooperation, Zhang said, stressing that China would not unilaterally relax sanctions on North Korea but may suggest that the UN revise its resolutions based on changes in the situation.