Connect with us

World News

Kim’s visit to China signals growing bond between two nations

Donald Trump likes to boast of his deep friendship with Kim Jong Un.

However, the North Korean leader has chosen to spend his birthday with Chinese president Xi Jinping, Mr Trump’s greatest geopolitical opponent.

Awks much? Slightly, but Mr Kim’s train ride to Beijing is still good news for the US president, as Mr Kim makes the trip to China before important summits (this is his fourth to the country).

His presence in Beijing is a sign that serious preparations are underway for the second Trump-Kim summit, which Mr Trump has said will happen soon.

Also on board the armour-plated, luxury train was Kim Yong-chol, the former spy chief who has been heading negotiations with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo – negotiations that haven’t got very far to date.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China in this undated photo released on May 9, 2018

Kim Jong Un has met Xi Jinping a number of times already

What might Mr Kim and Mr Xi be talking about?

The regimes of Beijing and Pyongyang are almost as inscrutable as each other but in this case, we have a fairly good idea, thanks to Kim Jong Un’s New Year address.

In that televised speech, Mr Kim reiterated his pledge that North Korea would neither make and test nuclear weapons any longer nor use and proliferate them.

But he also warned: “We even might find ourselves in a situation where we have no other choice but to find a new way”.

Does that mean more missile launches and nuclear tests?

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) during a lunch at the Okryugwan restaurant on September 19, 2018 in Pyongyang, North Korea

Kim Jong Un has been in diplomatic overdrive recently, also meeting South Korean president Moon Jae In late last year

Frank Ruediger, professor of east Asian economy and society at the University of Vienna, argues not.

Writing on 38 North, a website devoted to analysis about North Korea, earlier this month, he said: “Kim’s confidence stems from the expectation of growing and reliable support by China.”

That confidence seems to be well founded.

Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper, today quoted an unnamed expert saying that Mr Kim’s “visit to China at the beginning of 2019 indicates Kim’s trust in China”.

“Kim still believes China can help him make breakthroughs in internal and diplomatic situations,” the newspaper said.

There are two ways of interpreting all that.

Firstly, that North Korea can exploit its new, better diplomatic relationship with the US to ask for more from China – to play the two superpowers off against each other.

This is a strategy that China itself successfully adopted during the Cold War, alternatively drawing closer to the US and the Soviet Union to extract concessions from them.

Secondly, that China might use its influence with North Korea as leverage in its own trade war with the US.

Either way, North Korea benefits.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump during a historic summit of the two nations.

Donald Trump thinks another meeting is all that is needed for a breakthrough – but he may be surprised

The background of the trade war cannot be ignored: a US negotiating team is also in Beijing trying to reach an agreement before 1 March, when increased tariffs are scheduled to kick in. Both sides seem keener than they have previously been to settle the issue.

Mr Trump likes to think that all it takes to make a breakthrough on North Korea is another one-on-one meeting with Kim. Sod geopolitics, forget the boring details: personal charisma will win through.

Mr Kim’s visit to Beijing shows how much more complicated it actually is.

The year 2019 promised to be a big one for East Asia and for the world, and it’s already delivering.

Facebook Comments
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Nijar ta samu tallafi maganin malaria daga Amurka

Sauro ne ke haddasa cutar malaria

Hakkin mallakar hoto
Getty Images

Gwamnatin Amurka ta tallafa wa jamhuriyar Nijar da magungunan zazzabin cizon sauro wato malaria na milyoyin CFA.

Tallafin dai ya hada da magungunan rigakafin zazzabin cizon sauro dama na magance cutar da zarar an kamu da ita.

Kazalika daga cikin tallafin da Amurkan ta ba wa Nijar, akwai gidajen sauro.

Amurka dai ta bayar da wannan taimako ne ga Nijar da zimmar rage yaduwar cutar ta malaria da akshi 50 cikin 100.

Wannan tallafi na Amurkan, na daga cikin wani tsari ne na kasar wajen tallafa wa kasashe masu tasowa.

Cutar zazzabin cizon sauro na daga cikin cututtukan da ke saurin kisan kananan yara da ma mata masu juna biyu a kasar.

Gwamnatin Nijar ta kasa yakin da take a kan yaduwar cutar zuwa gida uku da suka hada da neman tallafi da wadatar da al’ummar kasar da maganin rigakafin cutar da kuma tsaftace unguwanni.

Kasashen Afrika ne suka fi fama da cutar zazzabin cizon sauro, kuma yawancin wadanda ke mutuwa yara ne.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

World News

Two dozen bodies recovered from flooded illegal Zimbabwe gold mine

The bodies of 24 illegal gold miners have been recovered from flooded tunnels in Zimbabwe after a dam wall collapsed following heavy rain.

Up to 70 may have been trapped in the mine and the search near Kadoma continues, the government said. It has declared a national disaster.

A relative of a deceased miner

A relative of a deceased miner wears a mask near the mine
Eight people were rescued, all but one of whom have been discharged from hospital.

Henrietta Rushwaya, who leads the country’s small-scale miners’ association, said 23 of the bodies had been identified.

According to the government’s deputy chief mining engineer, “it doesn’t seem likely” that there are any other survivors.

Only eight of the estimated 70 trapped miners are thought to have survived

Only eight of the estimated 70 trapped miners are thought to have survived
The disaster happened in Battlefields – a small settlement 110 miles west of Harare that is rich in gold deposits and popular with illegal miners.

Friends and relatives have broken police lines in an attempt to identify their loved ones.

Surviving miners were exhausted and muddied after being pulled out

Surviving miners were exhausted and muddied after being pulled out
The makeshift shafts and tunnels, some running as deep as 50m (164ft), can easily collapse in the rainy season when the ground is soft.

According to the Zimbabwean government, $200,000 (£155,000) is needed to complete the rescue effort – with a spokesman urging “well-wishers” to donate body bags, masks and gloves.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

World News

Trump asks Britain to take back Islamic State fighters | US News

US President Donald Trump stated that the US has asked Britain and other European allies to take back more than 800 Islamic State fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial.

The US president said the terror group’s caliphate in Iraq and Syria is “ready to fall” and “the alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them”.

He added: “The US does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.

“We do so much, and spend so much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% caliphate victory!”

Mr Trump’s comments come after US vice president Mike Pence said the last mile of IS-controlled territory in Syria was being captured by American-backed forces.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: