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China curveball ahead of meeting with Kim

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We speak highly of this visit,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told Kim, according to Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, which reported on the visit after Kim departed Beijing. Xi added that China “appreciates the important efforts made by the DPRK (Democratic Republic of Korea)” regarding “positive changes” that have occurred on the Korean Peninsula this year, Xinhua reported.
The messages out of both Beijing and Pyongyang following the visit are meant to emphasize to all parties that there can be no deal with North Korea without China’s involvement.
Xi noted that “China will continue to play a constructive role on the issue (of talks) and work with all parties, including the DPRK, toward the thaw of the situation on the Peninsula,” Xinhua reported.
The “situation on the Peninsula” refers to not only the tension over North Korea’s nuclear program, but the presence of US troops to the south and the outlying waters where US and South Korean militaries regularly conduct naval exercises.

The China visit has added a layer of complication for Trump that had long been dormant because of years of estrangement between Pyongyang and Beijing.
Now that ties are seemingly mended, that bodes ill for the White House, said Mount.
“The division between Beijing and Pyongyang was really our greatest asset with respect to North Korea,” he told CNN. “If that narrows even slightly, that’s a sea change. It changes the outlook for negotiations that we have to adjust for very rapidly. It’s clear both Pyongyang and Beijing won’t be dictated to by Seoul and Washington, but also develop their own agenda. We should be aware that it might be a coordinated agenda,” Mount said.
The notion that might have held sway until this week, that North Korea was prepared to meet with Trump and put “nukes” on the table, is no longer the case, said Mike Chinoy, a former CNN correspondent and author of “Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis,” who has made regular visits to North Korea in the past.

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