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How North Korea could soothe China-US relations

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It would be win-win diplomacy for the United States, China and North Korea if they could work to achieve a peaceful solution to the decade-long dispute over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to China and his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week – his fourth in the past 10 months – has raised speculation that his second summit within a year with US President Donald Trump is imminent.

This appears to follow a precedent set last year, when Kim’s meetings with the Chinese leader directly preceded his historic summit with Trump in Singapore in June. Apparently Trump, Kim and Xi all welcome this diplomatic fanfare as they have more to gain than lose from it.

The biggest challenge facing the 35-year-old Kim, whose priority has been maintaining his family’s dynastic rule, is how to save the country’s economy from bankruptcy amid United Nations sanctions.

A summit with Trump to break the stalemate in the denuclearisation talks is the key to achieving this end. Over the past few months, Pyongyang has demanded that Washington ease sanctions, claiming to have dismantled some of its nuclear facilities. The White House........

© South China Morning Post