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Xi Jinping visits N. Korea to show off 'North Korea' card amid trade war with U.S.: Experts Updated: 2019-06-18 16:25:46 KST

A fifth face-to-face between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping this time, in the North Korean capital.
Last year, there were four summits between Kim and Xi all in China, with Kim making the trip there.
And it's been expected that Xi would visit North Korea in return this year.
Regarding why it has to be now, experts say, China wants to show the U.S. its still-strong influence over North Korea amid the trade war and political tensions over Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"This year, North Korea and China celebrate 70 years of diplomatic ties. But other than that, China intends to show the U.S. that it's got the 'North Korea' card amid intensifying conflicts with the U.S."

For North Korea, Xi's visit is a gigantic blessing, a pundit says.

"Diplomatically, it's the first visit to North Korea by a Chinese President in 14 years which can show that the North is no longer an isolated state. It's a big present to Kim Jong-un who failed to achieve much at summits in Hanoi and Vladivostok. Also, Xi's visit shows that China trusts and supports North Korea's domestic politics, which helps in regime security."

Humanitarian assistance may also follow with China offering large amounts of rice and fertilizer to the North.

As to whether the upcoming summit would help revive the stalled nuclear talks, experts were doubtful.
They say what China aims is to show its influence in the region amid its hegemonic competition with the U.S.
The leaders, Kim and Xi, therefore are likely to highlight their original stance -- calling for the North's regime security and step-by-step denuclearization.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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