North Korea deserves trust as Kim shows resolution on China trip: analysts

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/21 21:33:41

Kim’s China trip shows resolution on development

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center) and his wife Ri Sol-ju (center right) visit the North Korean Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday. The photo was released on Thursday. Photo: AFP

The visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to China showcased the country's resolution on denuclearization and pursuit of development, analysts said but noting international-level doubts toward the North still exist.

Kim concluded his China visit late on Wednesday and departed Beijing to North Korea after having an "in-depth conversation" with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Kim vowed to work with "Chinese comrades to upgrade bilateral ties to a new high, and play its due roles in safeguarding world and regional peace and stability," the Xinhua News Agency reported.

On Wednesday, Kim visited a national agricultural technology innovation park under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Beijing Rail Traffic Control Center.

Agricultural technology and traffic system cooperation would support North Korea in heading toward development, away from pursuing nuclear weapons, said Cui Zhiying, director of Tongji University's Korean Peninsula Research Center.

Similarly, people-to-people cooperation will continue to play a positive role in promoting bilateral ties between China and North Korea, though Beijing will continue to abide by the UN Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang, said Cui. 

Given the continuous efforts that North Korea has made, including blowing up Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site and pledging to dismantle one of its missile installations, Pyongyang deserves a positive international response, said Zheng Jiyong, director of the Shanghai-based Fudan University's Center for Korean Studies.

The international sanctions against North Korea should ease, especially unilateral sanctions initiated by South Korea or Japan, as well as sanctions that closely relate to the country's livelihood, and medical and humanitarian efforts, Zheng told the Global Times.

Kim's visit to Beijing follows his Singapore summit with US President Donald Trump, in which they reaffirmed a commitment to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The US and South Korea said they had agreed to suspend a joint military exercise set for August, although decisions regarding subsequent drills have not yet been made.

But on Wednesday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that the decision to suspend the military exercise could be reconsidered, based on future developments with North Korea.

Zheng explained that South Korea backed the US's decision but the military won't trust the current peaceful peninsula situation unless North Korea takes further meaningful denuclearization action. The South Korean military is wary of the North, yet has made concessions, he said. 

The South's foreign minister also said on Wednesday that sanctions will be lifted only if a complete denuclearization has been achieved.

"The US is also taking a wait-and-see attitude on North Korea. It believes it won't face direct threats from the North anymore, but doubts still exist on whether North Korea will carry out a concrete denuclearization plan," said Yang Danzhi, an expert on Asia-Pacific strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Newspaper headline: NK ‘deserves some trust’


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