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How N. Korea-China Summit can be meaningful

Posted March. 09, 2015 08:04,   


In regards to the possibility of a summit between North Korea and China, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the leaders of China and North Korea will meet when it is convenient for them. “We cherish our traditional friendship with North Korea and we seek the normal development of our relations,” said Wang. It is not explicit though, Wang’s remarks can be interpreted that the Chinese authority is reviewing to have a summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. As the North Korea-China relation has been strained after Kim Jong Un took power, holding a North Korea-China summit itself may draw keen attention from the international community.

Xi and Kim have three events to meet each other this year. The three occasions include the Asia-Africa summit meeting in Indonesia next month, Russia’s World War II Victory Celebrations in May and China`s World War II 70th Anniversary event in September. Especially, there was a precedence in 1965 in which the former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il attended the Asia-Africa Summit meeting, which will be held to mark the 60th anniversary of Bandung Conference that has been the focal point of the Non-allied Movement. If Kim Jong Un attends the summit, North Korea-China summit may be held. China may invite Kim to Beijing and hold a more formal meeting. Considering such circumstances, many experts predict that there is big probability for Kim to make appearance in the diplomatic venue this year.

Over the past three years, the relation between North Korea and China has been cold in spite of their blood alliance. A research shows that the number of exchanges in human resource between the two nations has been decreased from 47.6 to 15 per year, dropping to one third of that under the Kim Jong Il regime. Military exchanges had sharply decreased and there has been no exchange of the government delegations related to economy. North Korea’s nuclear test strained its relation with China and execution of Jang Song Thaek, who had been close to the Chinese government, also served as an unfavorable factor. China’s Korean Peninsula policies seem to change greatly as evidenced by the fact that Xi visited Seoul first, then later Pyongyang, after his inauguration.

China seems to start review on the summit with North Korea after North Korea took its recent moves to get closer with Russia. As long as Korea-U.S. alliance exists, China may not be able to abandon North Korea easily. Nonetheless, it is burdensome for China to defend a rogue country, which insists to keep its nuclear program. A promising aspect is that Kim Jong Un started certain level of reform and opening in the economy area after seizing power. In his late stages of ruling, Kim Jong Il visited China three times over a year but Kim failed to achieve reform and opening of the isolated country. Only when Chinese President Xi must persuade Kim Jong Un for changes of the secluded country, such as denuclearization, reform and opening, North Korea-China summit may contribute to peace and stability of the North-east Asian region.