South Korean President and Xi Jinping to discuss N’Korea nukes

Vastavam web: South Korean President Moon Jae-In will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing today amid mixed US signals about potential talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.Relations between Beijing and Seoul have encountered their own rough patch over the US military’s deployment of a powerful anti-missile defence system in the South to counter the North’s threats.

Moon hopes to “normalise” ties during the visit, his office has said, after Beijing imposed economic measures against South Korean companies, a move seen as retaliation to the installation of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system.”The highlights to watch of the visit would be whether the two sides (Seoul and Beijing) can start a dialogue and cooperation mechanism on the DPRK (North Korea) nuclear issue,” said Zhu Feng, international studies professor at Peking University.

China has long refused to countenance the possibility that the North’s Communist regime could collapse.These dialogues cannot really start without the normalisation of the bilateral relations.” Moon’s visit comes after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington was ready to talk to North Korea “without preconditions”, though it remains determined to force Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal.China and Russia responded positively to Tillerson’s remarks, even after the White House appeared to put his proposal in question by saying Trump’s “views on North Korea have not changed.”Washington’s top diplomat said these discussions involved him, the US defence secretary and military chief, and senior Chinese officials.

Such discussions were unthinkable just a few months ago.But China’s priority has been to convince the United States and North Korea to hold talks.