China mailing envoy to North Korea following Trump visit

In Beijing the other day, President Donald Trump urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons course. | Luong Thai Linh/Pool area Photo/AP China mailing envoy to North Korea following Trump visit

BEIJING – Following President Donald Trump’s go to to Beijing, China explained Wednesday that it would send a high-level particular envoy to North Korea amid an extended chill in relations between the neighbors more than Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile courses.

Song Tao, the head of China’s ruling Communist Party’s International Section, will happen to be Pyongyang on Fri to report about outcomes of the party’s nationwide congress held previous month, the state Xinhua News Company said.

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Xinhua said Song, while president and party leader Xi Jinping’s special envoy, would carry out a “visit” in addition to delivering his article, but gave no details about his itinerary or perhaps meetings. In addition, it made no reference to Trump’s visit to Beijing or the North’s weapons courses, although Trump offers repeatedly named on Beijing to do more to employ its impact to pressure Pyongyang into altering its patterns.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang downplayed any connection between Song’s trip and Trump’s visit, saying it was “common practice” for the Communist Party and North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party to exchange views.

“The purpose of this go to is to brief about the get together congress and exchange sights on issues of general interest and bilateral curiosity,” Geng said at a regularly scheduled briefing.

Song would be the first ministerial-level Chinese official to visit North Korea since October 2015, when Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan met with leader Kim Jong Un. Liu shipped a letter to Kim from Xi expressing expectations for a strong marriage, although the respite in frosty ties proved short-resided. Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin visited Pyongyang in October of this past year.

Both ruling parties have long-standing ties that often supersede formal diplomacy, even while Beijing is definitely frustrated with Pyongyang’s provocations and unwillingness to reform its economy.

However, Song is not directly linked to China’s initiatives to convince Pyongyang to cease its nuclear weapons program and return to talks, downplaying the probabilities for a breakthrough in that highly contentious area.

China can be North Korea’s most significant trading partner and chief source of food and fuel aid, though it says its impact with Kim’s regime can often be exaggerated by the U.S. and others. Although it is enforcing tough brand-new U.N. sanctions targeting the North’s resources of foreign currency, Beijing has called for guidelines to renew dialogue.

Beijing is also against measures that could bring down Kim’s regime, possibly depriving it of a good buffer with South Korea and the almost 30,000 U.S. troops stationed there, and resulting in a refugee crisis and chaos along its border with the North.

In Beijing the other day, Trump urged Xi to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons course.

China can fix the condition “easily and quickly,” Trump said found in remarks to journalists alongside Xi. He urged Xi to “hopefully focus on it very difficult.”

“If he works onto it hard, it’ll happen. There is no doubt about it,” Trump said.

While calling the go to significant, a top Chinese expert on North Korea relations downplayed any reference to Trump’s statements in Beijing, saying it fit a design of traditional exchanges between the two celebrations following significant events such as national congresses.

“Representatives will be dispatched to simple the other aspect at a chosen period and chosen level. This is a tradition in fact it is unneeded to connect it with Trump’s go to to China,” explained Guo Rui, researcher at the Institute for North Korean and South Korean Research at Jilin University in northeastern China.

However, he explained the visit “displays China’s willingness to visit a continuous production of the friendly relations between the two sides.”

“Although the Korean Peninsula circumstance has been evolving fast with worrisome indications, the two parties will be maintaining normal exchanges, and that is of significance for stabilizing the bilateral relations and the peninsular circumstance,” Guo said.

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The nature of Song’s visit as a party-to-party exchange rather than one between the two governments seems to paint it as a bilateral try to strengthen relations, said John Delury, a professor at Seoul’s Yonsei University who specializes in Korea and China.

The fact that Tune was determined as Xi’s special envoy also suggests that Xi is personally making a push to open the channel at an increased level and engage more constructively with Kim, Delury said.

“This is an opportunity to find if he can available stuff up,” he said. “The relationship has been so frosty, it will be interesting to check out if there’s some improvement in the bilateral ties.”

North Korea staged its sixth nuclear test about Sept. 3, detonating what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb, and previous launched a ballistic missile on Sept. 15, firing it over the Japanese island of Hokkaido into the Pacific Ocean.

Since then, there has been a lull in such activity, resulting in most hopes in Beijing that Pyongyang might be responding to international pressure and becoming extra amenable to talks.

Song’s go to to Pyongyang also comes due to China and South Korea will be restoring their relations, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in scheduled to visit the following month for talks with Xi.

Previously warm ties soured this past year more than Seoul’s decision to deploy a sophisticated U.S. missile defense system targeted at guarding against North Korean threats.

Beijing claimed the THAAD program damaged its own protection because its radars can observe military motions within northeastern China and retaliated by banning Chinese tour groupings from going to and interfering found in the China functions of South Korean corporations.

While South Korea resisted China’s requirements to withdraw the system, Beijing appeared content with a pledge from Seoul never to expand it, among other commitments.

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