China firmly supports Trump-Kim summit: FM

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/27 23:23:39

Flip-flop helps North Korea earn intl sympathy: analysts

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (left) greets North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un before their second summit on the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas on Saturday, as shown in this handout photograph released by South Korea's presidential Blue House on Sunday. They held the surprise talks in hopes of getting a historic peace summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump back on track. Photo: AFP

South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a conference on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his willing to denuclearize and hold a summit with US President Donald Trump.

The off-and-on-again Singapore summit may possibly be held as planned despite more twists and turns as the two sides sound out each other's bottom line, Chinese analysts said.

"Chairman Kim Jong-un has once again clearly expressed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula following his pledge in the Panmunjom Declaration and expressed his willingness to end the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North Korea-US summit," Moon said at a press conference on Sunday, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

"We two leaders agreed the June 12 North Korea-US summit must be successfully held," Moon said.

On Saturday, Moon and Kim held their second meeting on the North Korean side of Panmunjom, a border village that sits on the Military Demarcation Line between the two Koreas. The first Moon-Kim summit was held on the South Korean side of Panmunjom on April 27.

"The hastily arranged Moon-Kim summit on Saturday was aimed at salvaging the Kim-Trump summit as planned after Trump called it off on Thursday. South Korea also wanted to salvage the summit to make sure its previous efforts would not be in vain," Da Zhigang, director of the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences' institute of Northeast Asian studies, told the Global Times.

In a letter to Kim on Thursday, Trump said he was cancelling the summit, citing North Korea's "open hostility." But on Saturday, Trump said he was still looking at June 12 for a summit in Singapore, adding that talks were progressing very well, Reuters reported.

"The off-and-on-again summit showed Trump's quick-changing work style as a businessman. He wanted to sound out North Korea's bottom line by first calling off the summit and after getting favorable feedback from the North, he said he would push through with the summit," Da said. More twists and turns may happen before June 12 as the two sides seek to beget leverage, he warned.

In response to Trump's announcement on Thursday, North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said that Pyongyang was willing "to sit face to face at any time," North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Friday.


"Last week's flip-flop helped North Korea earn sympathy from the international community while US prestige was damaged. And there is a high possibility that the Kim-Trump summit will be held as planned," Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Li said that Trump himself wanted to attend the summit so that he could brag about achievements that others - especially preceding president Barack Obama - have never made. The summit could boost his political career.

A White House team left as scheduled for Singapore this weekend to prepare for the possible summit, a White House spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters as saying on Saturday.

"The second Kim-Moon summit also pushed Trump to attend the Singapore summit as he felt uncomfortable that the two Koreas might settle some issues without US participation," Lü Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Lü said that the latest news about the summit shows that previous US accusations about China "messing up" the summit now looked more like an excuse to cover Trump's humiliating inconsistency.

China's foreign ministry told the Global Times in an email on Sunday that China always believes that direct dialogue between the US and North Korean leaders is the key to solving the peninsula nuclear issue.

China firmly supports the summit and hopes it could bring peace to the Korean Peninsula and good news to the world. "China will carry on to play a constructive role in Korean Peninsula issues," according to the ministry.

 Aside from all the concerned parties' anticipation of a smooth and historic summit between the US and North Korean leaders, disputes remain considering the great gap on the denuclearization process.

"The US may not change its stance on a complete denuclearization and nor does North Korea with its step-by-step plan. The first Kim-Trump summit will not settle all the disputes but help end the hostile policies between the two countries," said Li.

Newspaper headline: Hopes revived for summit


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