For China, Kim Jong Un’s visit reinforces North Korea role as a player in the grand diplomatic chess board, and President Xi will be keen to have a stronger sense of what Kim expects in his further meetings, especially with American leader.
There are no details how long Kim Jong Un would stay and who he would meet, this information is sensitive. For North Korea’s leader, it is the first foreign trip since taking power in 2011. While Kim Jong Il was in power, Chinese and North Korean official sources usually waited until after his return to Pyongyang before confirming he had been in China. An exception was his final trip in May 2011, when Chinese state media reported the elder Kim’s meeting with then-President Hu Jintao a day before he left the country.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a briefing in Beijing Tuesday that she had no information about any visit by Kim or the train reported to have carried him into the country. She said any relevant information would be released in “due course.”
Traditionally, China has been reluctant to take too sweeping measures against North Korea for fear about squeezing Kom’s country so hard that it becomes significantly destabilized. Despite the annoyance that Xi has had with Kim Jong Un, from his vantage point undercutting Pyongyang too many risks the youthful leader there behaving even more unpredictable.
The White House’s reaction to Kim’s visit to China
The White House appears to have had no advance knowledge of Kim’s visit, said Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told during Monday’s briefing. Thus, Mr Shan couldn’t confirm reports of the trip because the US don’t “know if they’re necessarily true.” A State Department spokesman, Julia Mason, responded to questions about the report with a laconic: “We’d refer you to the Chinese.”
Meanwhile, NK leader’s visit to China stresses that the geopolitical plates are moving on the Korean Peninsula, say the political analysts. While change is in the air, Xi will have warned Kim to show prudence given downside risks that the North-South dialogue ultimately proves a mirage which would see Trump increasing pressure on Pyongyang again.