The purpose of the first state visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping to North Korea could be linked with his attempt to defuse tensions in the region. The nuclear programs of Pyongyang continue to be a matter of concern, especially after the denuclearization summit in Hanoi failed to produce any result. Chinese state broadcasters reported on the meeting between the Chinese leader and Kim Jong-un. North Korea media also confirmed the same but was silent on details.

The Guardian says after the failed Hanoi summit, NK went slow on its nuclear weapons program. However, it has not abandoned its weapons program but has been testing smaller weapons. North Korea wants America to be less rigid. Chinese president Xi Jinping is a senior leader and knows the dangers of nuclear weapons. He could use the state visit to play a major role if he can convince Kim Jong-un about the futility of pursuing his nuclear mission.

North Korea needs assurances

US president Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un held two summits. There were huge expectations from the second summit in Hanoi but it fizzled out.

There were disagreements over the extent of the dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities necessary in order to get relief from sanctions. Washington said the lifting of sanctions was conditional while Pyongyang wanted a certain amount of relief from sanctions.

The Guardian adds Kim visited China four times since March last year.

China is the North’s biggest economic partner and his meetings with Xi Jinping coincided with the timing of his talks with Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in. This highlights the important role of Beijing. South Korea is probably hopeful that the visit by the Chinese president to North Korea will help to end the nuclear standoff and herald in an era of peace on the Korean peninsula. If the hermit kingdom abandons its nuclear ambitions and goes in for denuclearization, sanctions will no longer be there. The country can come out of isolation and join the mainstream.

Xi Jinping’s state visit to North Korea

According to the BBC, during his two-day state visit to North Korea, Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and discuss the problems facing the Korean peninsula. It will be the first by any Chinese leader to North Korea in 14 years. It comes a week before the G-20 summit in Japan where he could meet US President Donald Trump. Incidentally, Kim Jong-un visited China four times, but no Chinese president has visited Pyongyang since 2005. That was when Kim's father Kim Jong-il played host to Hu Jintao. South Korea hopes the present visit would reopen the dialogue on denuclearization between Washington and Pyongyang.

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