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Can Trump 'pass up' Xi?

17 2 8
12.06.2018
By Lee Seong-hyon

This week marks 25 years since former U.S. President Jimmy Carter negotiated a deal with North Korea in which Pyongyang committed to freezing its burgeoning nuclear weapons program and engage in high-level negotiations with Washington. The deal didn't last because then North Korean leader Kim Il-sung met an abrupt death only a month later.

Twenty-five years later, Kim Jong-un, the grandson of the North's leader, met with a U.S. president in Singapore this week. This time, with a sitting U.S. president, Donald Trump ― the first time in history. A few things are also different now than then. North Korea now has a doable nuclear arsenal. There is also a formidable third-party stakeholder ― China.

Among the critical post-summit tasks for Trump would be to decide on how much of a role, if any, he would want to give to Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the ongoing North Korean nuclear issue. In other words, can the U.S. solve the North Korean problem without enlisting China's help?

Xi already met Kim twice in the weeks leading up to the Singapore summit. If the nature of the first Xi-Kim meeting was about "restoration of relations"........

© The Korea Times