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Planned summit raises hopes for peace

By Fan Jishe | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-12 09:17
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US President Donald Trump and DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un walk together before their working lunch during their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, June 12, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Editor's note: US President Donald Trump has announced that his second summit with Democratic People's Republic of Korea's top leader Kim Jong-un is likely to be held soon, which is expected to take the Korean Peninsula denuclearization process forward. And Kim's four-day visit to China from Sunday sparked speculations on the second summit. Three experts share their views on the issue with China Daily's Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

2nd Trump-Kim summit a welcome development

The conditions for a second Trump-Kim summit appeared favorable even before Trump's announcement, as the DPRK reiterated its willingness to hold further talks with the US. Besides, the US-China trade negotiation has eased the pressure on the Trump administration, so now it can focus more on organizing the second Trump-Kim meeting.

In more than a year of confrontations and communication, Washington and Pyongyang have explored each other's bottom line and sincerity, and accumulated enough experience to interact with each other. That CNN has reported the two countries are seeking a location means the second US-DPRK summit could be held soon.

As for Kim's visit to China, it shows the DPRK attaches greater importance to regional development. So China should make more efforts to support the US and the DPRK to achieve tangible results at the next Trump-Kim meeting.

But it is important that all sides be aware of the difficulties in reaching a consensus on all issues. Since the relationship between Washington and Pyongyang is complicated, it will take a long time to resolve all the bilateral issues. But the situation on the Korean Peninsula has improved, and the second Trump-Kim summit is expected to further improve the situation, enabling the two countries to negotiate and resolve the issues in the long run.

Shen Haitao, a professor at the Northeast Asian Studies College, Jilin University

China has little influence on US-DPRK relations

Kim's visit to China reflects the close relationship between Beijing and Pyongyang. But the visit does not mean China has a big say in US-DPRK issues.

China and the DPRK are neighbors and have mutual interest in regional peace and development. That's why they keep communicating and try to find peaceful and balanced solutions to the regional problems. It is natural for the two countries to also discuss US-DPRK relations and the denuclearization issue, which they most likely did during Kim's visit to China, as it is the core factor for peace and stability on the peninsula.

But the US-DPRK differences on the denuclearization issue and the US-China trade frictions are two different issues, which should be resolved separately.

With the glimmer of hope sparked by the first US-DPRK summit in June 2018, expectations were raised that a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue can be achieved. A stable peninsula and closer trade and diplomatic cooperation in East Asia depend on a peaceful resolution to the US-DPRK disputes. To this end, China has been promoting the US-DPRK talks. But China cannot decide for the DPRK what and how it should negotiate with the US, nor can it use China-DPRK ties to influence China-US trade negotiation. So what the Trump-Kim meeting will throw up is still unclear.

Wang Junsheng, an associate researcher at the National Institute of International Strategy, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Don't expect much from next Trump-Kim summit

Washington and Pyongyang did not reach any agreement on denuclearization, which is the key to resolve the peninsula issue. Washington has insisted on continuing the sanctions until Pyongyang completely stops its nuclear tests, and dismantles all its nuclear test sites. Pyongyang did halt its nuclear tests and dismantled test sites, but it refused to comply with all the conditions of Washington. Also, it did not issue a nuclear declaration or agree to complete denuclearization.

Under such circumstances, what Trump and Kim will talk about at the second summit remains unclear.

But considering the two countries are seeking a location for the second summit, the meeting could be held soon, even though the outcome of the summit cannot be predicted, especially because of the unusual styles of Trump and Kim. Even their first meeting was unusual, as it was canceled before the scheduled date but still held.

The first Trump-Kim summit yielded no tangible solution to the denuclearization problem. Yet it was a historic breakthrough in US-DPRK relations and created an opportunity to restore peace on the peninsula. So the world should promote US-DPRK talks in the hope that the situation would further improve even if the talks do not produce substantial results.

Fan Jishe, a senior fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

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