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Xi's visit to Pyeongyang part of 'North Korea' card ahead of talks with U.S. at G20 Summit: Expert Updated: 2019-06-20 10:28:18 KST

Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting the North Korean capital. Although it marks their fifth face-to-face, it is the first time that Xi is heading to Pyeongyang since he took power in 2013.

When asked why it has to be now and what Xi wants from this visit, experts say China wants to demonstrate its influence over the Korean Peninsula, particularly ahead of negotiation with Washington at the G20 Summit, amid their trade spat and political tensions.

"At this juncture, ahead of the U.S.-China negotiations at the G20 Summit, Xi's visit can increase Beijing's bargaining power against Washington, by showing that it has strong influence over North Korea as its traditional ally."

The expert says North Korea also has important things to gain from Xi's visit.

"Pyeongyang can show off its friendly ties with Beijing during the visit, and it may serve as a new trump card amid the stalled denuclearization talks with Washington."

When it comes to the third North Korea-U.S. Summit, experts say they have to "wait and see" because they aren't sure, for now, whether this summit will positively or negatively affect their relationship.
Officially, China supports talks and negotiation between Pyeongyang and Washington, but some say worst-case scenario is still possible, if North Korea further consolidates its stance against the U.S., backed by China.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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