North Korean President Kim Jong-Un paid a surprise visit to China this week, in his debut overseas trip since taking on leadership in late 2011.
While in Beijing, Kim met Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials, where they discussed bilateral ties and Korean peninsula tensions. During this meeting, Kim told Xi that North Korea is committed to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, and is willing to start a dialogue with the U.S. and hold a summit meeting. As many analysts predicted, the trip appears to be an effort to mend fences with Beijing. The shift ensures that China’s interests are protected during Kim’s planned summit with Trump, and also gives North Korea an “insurance policy” if talks collapse.
Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning, announcing that Xi told him the meeting with Kim went very well and that he looks forward to meeting the North Korean leader.But many experts believe that the meeting between the two foreign leaders only sparks more concern for the U.S.
John Park, who is the director of the Korea Working Group at Harvard Kennedy School, says that Trump’s White House should not only be prepared for this meeting but concerned as well. Park states:
“As much as the official White House line says that maximum pressure is what brought about yet another diplomatic summit, the reality is you move away from the primary focus on maximum pressure to one huge massive pressure release valve.”
In addition, China mentioned Kim was willing to meet Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and said that he could give up his nuclear weapons if both countries took “progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace.”
For those unaware, peace is not exactly in Trump’s vocabulary and playing nice is certainly not his power move. Just last week, Trump hired John Bolton, a former ambassador to the United Nations who recently wrote a commentary titled “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First.” If that doesn’t scream conflict, what does?
While Trump may fool his followers into thinking the meeting with China was a ‘big win’ for the U.S., the truth of the matter is that China ties would help North Korea gain more leverage. In the end, the U.S. is more than likely going to suffer because we have a leader who doesn’t tell us the truth. We as Americans want to be informed. If Trump and his sea of swamp creatures continue to hide the truth, things will only spiral out of control.
Featured image via Alhad Terumi/Getty Images