Friday, 25 May, 2018

Trump to discuss trade with China's Xi as talks continue

24 2018 Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs shakes hands with Susan Thornton acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Trump: Pompeo Traveling to N. Korea to Prepare for Summit
Lisa Bryan | 09 May, 2018, 00:46

A North Korean VIP airplane flew out of China on Tuesday, sparking speculation that Kim Jong Un may have made a secret visit to the country, Japanese media reported.

The meeting Monday and Tuesday in Dalian is the second between Xi and Kim in recent weeks, following Kim's March visit to Beijing - his first since taking power six years ago.

Xi and Kim both pointed out that since their initial summit there had been "positive progress" not only in China-North Korea relations, but in the general situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo's latest visit followed talks between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met on April 27 at the heavily fortified demilitarized zone between the countries, the first summit for the two Koreas in over a decade.

Xi hosted a welcome banquet for Kim and the two leaders strolled along the coastline at a government guesthouse and had lunch together on Tuesday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. "The primary topics will be Trade, where good things will happen, and North Korea, where relationships and trust are building".

Next week, China's top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, is scheduled to visit Washington to resume negotiations sparked by the Trump administration's threat to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports.

Some analysts, including David Lampton, professor and director of China Studies at Johns Hopkins - SAIS and the former president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, have said the close timing of the high-level bilateral talks is cause for optimism, but that Beijing will not likely concede on at least one important US demand.

Kim also said that they wanted to turn the DMZ, now the most heavily defended border on the planet, into a guenuine peace zone.


"At a crucial time when the regional situation is developing rapidly, Kim said he came to China again to meet with (Xi) and inform him of the situation", Xinhua said. The plane believed to be carrying Kim took off at about 3.20pm local time.

Mr Xi was in Dalian to attend a ceremony around the testing of China's first domestically built aircraft carrier.

President Trump is slated to meet with Kim sometime this month to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, although the date and location of the meeting has yet to be announced.

Trump has already said that he was not considering reducing the United States military's presence in South Korea as part of the negotiations.

President Donald Trump then tweeted, without reference to Kim, that he would call Xi and speak about North Korea, as well as trade.

Trump announced the mission in Washington on Tuesday just minutes before Pompeo arrived in Japan to refuel before flying on to Pyongyang and as the president declared he was withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal with another bitter US adversary, Iran.

"From now on, based on our deep mutual trust, we'll make bold steps towards peace and prosperity, and unification", Moon said.

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