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China's Xi embarks on 2-day N. Korea visit: Prelude to Kim-Trump summit? Sean King, U.S. Asia Policy Strategist Updated: 2019-06-20 10:40:47 KST

President Xi Jinping's makes his first state visit to North Korea today in a move that took the world by surprise when it was announced just days ago.
Let's delve into this. Live on the line for us for an in-depth analysis is Sean King, Senior VP at New York-based Park Strategies and University of Notre Dame Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Affairs Affiliated Scholar.
Sean, welcome to the program.

This is the very first visit to North Korea by President Xi Jinping while North Korea's Kim Jong-un has traveled to China four times in the past 15 months to confer with the Chinese president.
What can we expect from Mr. Xi's two days in Pyeongyang with the North's Kim Jong-un?

Since China's announcement of President Xi's North Korea visit, there have been a flurry of diplomacy between Seoul, Washington and obviously Beijing and Pyeongyang.
Some view Xi's two days in Pyeongyang as a kick off to a string of dialogues possibly leading to a third North Korea, U.S. summit.
What can we expect in the days and weeks to come?

South Korea sent off food aid to North Korea yesterday, just a day before Xi's North Korea visit while the U.S. Treasury slapped sanctions on Russian firms that helped North Korea violate financial sanctions. What are you making out of these developments coming at this time?

I remember speaking to some analysts during the inter-Korean and North Korea, U.S. summits who kept urging us to widen our scope and look at the developments within the framework of a brewing trade spat between the U.S. and China.
It certainly appears that North Korea's denuclearization card is being used in the larger power race between the two super powers. How should South Korea position itself in this complicated equation?

Sean King, Senior VP at Park Strategies, many thanks for sharing your insights today. We appreciate it, as always.
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