More than six years after his ascension to power, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid his first visit to China on March 25 to meet with President Xi Jinping. The trip came at a time when the world was still recovering from the shocking announcement of an upcoming summit between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. There is no doubt that Kim’s meeting with Xi has helped to mend a fraying Sino-DPRK relationship and will strengthen the North’s position in its upcoming meetings with the US and South Korea. The North Korean diplomatic maneuver is a classic case of playing the United States and China off against each other to enhance Pyongyang’s bargaining leverage. The key question now is whether the two countries can outmaneuver Pyongyang to advance their mutual interest in finding a diplomatic solution to the issue of North Korea’s denuclearization.
This article was originally published on April 3, 2018 by 38 North. Read the full article here.