North Korea and China have officially confirmed that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea this Thursday and Friday.
This will mark the first time for a Chinese leader to visit the North in 14 years, and also the first for Xi Jinping to visit Pyeongyang since taking office.
The visit comes ahead of a South Korea-U.S. summit, as well as the G20 summit all set for the end of this month.
Today we go in-depth on the significance and expected outcome of Xi's visit to the North, with Dr. Bong Young-shik, of Yonsei Institute for N. Korean Studies.
1. It's no secret that North Korea and China are traditional allies and still boast a sound relationship to date. But a visit to North Korea by a Chinese leader has been absent for 14 years. Why does it come now?
2. Can we interpret President Xi's visit as China's attempt to engage more actively as a regional player in resolving North Korea's nuclear issue?
3. What would North Korea gain from Xi's visit?
4. Washington's official response to the news of Xi's North Korea visit was that the world remains focused on achieving a final, fully verified denuclearization of the regime. How do you think the U.S. is observing the news?
5. The big question is, would Xi's meeting with Kim Jong-un lead to the resumption of nuclear talks between Pyeongyang and Washington? How about inter-Korean talks? Your thoughts?
6. Hopes are high on the possibility of a fourth inter-Korean summit following President Moon's speech in Northern Europe. Looking back, a North Korea-China summit preceded both the first and second inter-Korean summits. How much would this Kim-Xi summit help in the resumption of inter-Korean talks?
7. How soon do you think the 4th inter-Korean summit can be held?
8. Focusing now to Seoul-Beijing relations, Xi Jinping is yet to make a visit to South Korea, and South Korea's presidential office made it clear that there are no planned visit to Seoul by Xi. What does Xi's visit to North Korea imply amid current Seoul-Beijing relations?
9. An interesting report was made by Voice of America recently. Unveiling a North Korean document, it said that North Korea's goal of the Hanoi summit was to gain Washington's recognition as a nuclear power. What do you make of this?
10. G20 on the 28th and 29th of this month which would bring together world leaders, including President Moon, Trump, Putin. Which meeting do you look forward to the most?