New China-DPRK strategic partnership?

An insightful article from the Global Times, which includes the following:

Kim’s three China visits indicate that China-North Korea relations have recovered and developed well … As two sovereign states, China and North Korea have the right to develop friendly relations. Facts have proven that since the outbreak of the North Korean nuclear crisis in the 1990s, stable Sino-North Korean relations have played a positive role in maintaining regional peace and stability.

Some Chinese scholars hold that the China-North Korea relationship could develop into a new strategic partnership if the two make an effort to strengthen bilateral ties in the future. Such a strategic partnership would play a constructive role in the region. North Korea’s desire for peaceful development, to ease relations with other countries and build a new international environment has presented an opportunity for Sino-North Korean cooperation.

Opening up is an inevitability if a country wants to develop. China will be a reliable strategic partner capable of supporting North Korea’s political security during its course of opening up.

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Third meeting between Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping

Chinese papers have already reported on Kim Jong Un’s third visit to China and to meet with Xi Jinping over the last couple of days, but I have been waiting for KCNA to report, especially since they always have the best pictures.

A selection from the lengthy report at KCNA:

At the talks the result of the historic DPRK-U.S. summit, which was successfully held amidst the unusual interest and expectation of the international community, and appreciation, views and stand on it were informed each other. And beneficial views on a series of issues of mutual concern including the prospect for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula were exchanged and a shared understanding on the discussed issues achieved.

The respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un expressed thanks to the Chinese party and government for positive and sincere support and good help for the successful DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks.

Saying that he is much pleased with and values the recently strengthened strategic cooperation between the two parties and the mutual confidence getting further deepened, he expressed the determination and will to further develop the closer relations of friendship, unity and cooperation between the two parties and the two peoples of the DPRK and China.

Xi Jinping gave high appreciation and extended heartfelt congratulations to Chairman Kim Jong Un for having steered the DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks successfully and put the situation of the Korean Peninsula on the track of dialogue, negotiation, peace and stability.

Voicing full support for the stand and determination of the DPRK side for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, he said that China will continue to play its constructive role in the future, too.

The talks proceeded in a comradely, candid and friendly atmosphere.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and president of the People’s Republic of China, hosted a grand banquet in welcome of the China visit by Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, at the Great Hall of the People on Tuesday evening.

At the banquet Xi Jinping made a congratulatory speech and Kim Jong Un made a reply speech.

Xi Jinping warmly welcomed Kim Jong Un‘s China visit, saying that this fully showed his fixed will to attach great importance to the strengthened strategic communication between the two parties of China and the DPRK and develop the traditional friendship of the two countries and demonstrated to the whole world the invincibility of the relations between the two parties and two countries.

After Chairman Kim Jong Un‘s China visit in March, the China-DPRK relations have entered a new phase of development and the important joint agreements of both sides are being implemented one by one and the China-DPRK relations of friendship and cooperation are in new vigor, Xi Jinping stated.

Noting that Kim Jong Un has made great efforts to protect peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula by leading the Korean people and further consolidated the trend of dialogue and détente on the peninsula, Xi Jinping said he is pleased to see it and highly appreciates it.

He affirmed that China and the DPRK would learn, consult, unite and cooperate with each other as close friends and comrades to jointly open up rosier and beautiful future of the socialist cause in the two countries.

Kim Jong Un said he is very glad to meet again Xi Jinping and other close Chinese comrades at the time when a new historic current is being created in the Korean Peninsula and the region with the successful DPRK-U.S. summit. He expressed heartfelt thanks to Xi Jinping for his cordial hospitality despite the pressure of work.

Saying the picture of the DPRK and China sharing joy and sorrow and sincerely helping and cooperating with each other like family members clearly demonstrates at home and abroad that the relations between the two parties and two countries are developing into the unprecedentedly special relationship beyond the traditional ties, Kim Jong Un stated that he would make every possible effort to steadily develop the DPRK-China friendly relations onto a new high level, valuing affinity and affection forged with Xi Jinping.

He said that he would closely cooperate with the Chinese comrades at the same staff in the historic journey of defending socialism and opening up a new future of the Korean Peninsula and the region, and fully discharge his responsibility and role to protect genuine peace.

He expressed the belief and expectation that the Chinese people would surely realize the dream of China called the great prosperity of China in the near future under the leadership of Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China.

To add another perspective, as Chinese analysis indicates, Kim Jong Un is relying on China to make sure the USA keeps its security promises. Or to put it more directly, the clear message is: don’t mess with the DPRK, since it has China’s backing.

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Full report on Singapore Summit from Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

This is the fullest report you will find on the Singapore Summit, including more details on items discussed and agreed:

  1. Halting US-South Korean military exercises.
  2. Invitations for Kim Jong Un to visit Washington and Trump to visit Pyongyang – invitations accepted.
  3. Step-by-step simultaneous action for peace, security and stability.

I should also point out that this follows China’s long-held proposal of ‘suspension for suspension’. And, as this item from the Global Times points out, Trump has also indicated that he hopes to remove US troops occupying the peninsula.

The report can be found at the DPRK’s official news outlet, Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang, June 13 (KCNA) — Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, held the summit meeting and talks with Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America, at Sentosa Island of Singapore on June 12, 2018 for the first time in the histories of the two countries.

Thanks to the fixed decision and will of the top leaders of the two countries to put an end to the extreme hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S., which lingered for the longest period on the earth on terms of acute confrontation and to open up a new future for the sake of the interests of the peoples of the two countries and global peace and security, the first DPRK-U.S. summit is to be held.

Singapore, the country of the epoch-making meeting much awaited by the whole world, was awash with thousands of domestic and foreign journalists and a large crowd of masses to see this day’s moment which will remain long in history.

Kim Jong Un left his lodging quarters at 8:10 a.m. local time and arrived at Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island of Singapore, the venue of the talks.

Seen standing at the lobby of the venue of the talks where the top leaders of the DPRK and the U.S. will have the first meeting were the flags of the DPRK and the U.S.

At 9:00 a.m. local time the respected Supreme Leader of the party, state and army of the DPRK Kim Jong Un met and shook hands with U.S. President Donald J. Trump for the first time.

The top leaders of the two countries came to take their first step toward reconciliation for the first time in the 70 odd years-long history of standoff and antagonism since the division of the Korean Peninsula, and to stand face to face at the venue of dialogue.

Chairman Kim Jong Un had a souvenir photo taken with President Trump. The two top leaders went to the conference room, having a familiar talk.

Tete-a-tete talks were held between the two top leaders.

Noting that it was not easy to get to where they were,

Kim Jong Un made the meaningful words there was a past that gripped their ankles and prejudice and wrong practice covered their eyes and ears, but they overcame all that to come this place and stand at a new starting point.

The two top leaders had a candid exchange of views on the practical issues of weighty significance in putting an end to the decades-long hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. and making peace and stability settle on the Korean Peninsula.

Then followed extended talks.

Present there from the DPRK side were Kim Yong Chol and Ri Su Yong, vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the WPK, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Present there from the U.S. side were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, United States National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

There was a comprehensive and in-depth discussion over the issues of establishing new DPRK-U.S. relations and building a permanent and durable peace mechanism at the talks.

Noting that he is pleased to sit face-to-face with President Trump and the U.S. side’s delegation, Chairman Kim Jong Un highly praised the president’s will and enthusiasm to resolve matters in a realistic way through dialogue and negotiations, away from the hostility-woven past.

Expressing belief that the summit talks would lead to improvement of the DPRK-U.S. relations, President Trump appreciated that an atmosphere of peace and stability was created on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, although distressed with the extreme danger of armed clash only a few months ago, thanks to the proactive peace-loving measures taken by the respected Supreme Leader from the outset of this year.

Noting that many problems occurred due to deep-rooted distrust and hostility existing between the two countries,

Kim Jong Un said in order to achieve peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and realize its denuclearization, the two countries should commit themselves to refraining from antagonizing each other out of mutual understanding, and take legal and institutional steps to guarantee it.

He also underlined the need for the DPRK and the U.S. to take practical measures actively to carry out the issues discussed at the talks and the joint statement at an early date.

Kim Jong Un made an immediate agreement on Trump’s proposal for recovering the remains of American soldiers and repatriating those already identified and gave an instruction to take a measure for settling it as early as possible.

Noting that the building of lasting and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula is of weighty significance in ensuring peace and security in the region and the rest of the world, he said that it is urgent to make bold decision on halting irritating and hostile military actions against each other.

Expressing his understanding of it, Trump expressed his intention to halt the U.S.-south Korea joint military exercises, which the DPRK side regards as provocation, over a period of good-will dialogue between the DPRK and the U.S., offer security guarantees to the DPRK and lift sanctions against it along with advance in improving the mutual relationship through dialogue and negotiation.

Kim Jong Un clarified the stand that if the U.S. side takes genuine measures for building trust in order to improve the DPRK-U.S. relationship, the DPRK, too, can continue to take additional good-will measures of next stage commensurate with them.

Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

That day, a luncheon was given in honor of the top leaders of the DPRK and the U.S. and participants in the talks.

Exchanged at the luncheon were views on further animating communication, contact and visit between both sides to cement the achievements made at the DPRK-U.S. talks and remarkably develop the DPRK-U.S. relations.

After the luncheon, the top leaders had a walk, deepening friendly feelings.

Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, and Donald J. Trump, president of the USA, signed a joint statement of the historic Singapore summit talks.

Kim Jong Un said that today both sides came to sign the historic joint statement heralding a new start, passing the past over, stating that the world would witness an important change.

Kim Jong Un had a meaningful photo session with Trump to commemorate the signing of the historic document and bid him farewell.

Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Trump expressed expectation and belief that the two countries which have lived in the quagmire of hostility, distrust and hatred would pass the unhappy past over and dynamically advance toward an excellent and proud future beneficial to each other and another new era, the era of the DPRK-U.S. cooperation would open up.

Kim Jong Un invited Trump to visit Pyongyang at a convenient time and Trump invited Kim Jong Un to visit the U.S.

The two top leaders gladly accepted each other’s invitation, convinced that it would serve as another important occasion for improved DPRK-U.S. relations.

The DPRK-U.S. summit talks held in Singapore with success amid enthusiastic support and welcome of the whole world come to be a great event of weighty significance in further promoting the historic trend toward reconciliation and peace, stability and prosperity being created in the Korean Peninsula and the region and in making a radical switchover in the most hostile DPRK-U.S. relations, as required by the developing times.

Of course, KCNA has the best pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full text of Singapore Summit Statement between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump

Here is a translation of the full statement from the Singapore Summit today:

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.

Obviously, we will have to wait and see how it unfolds. But if you look at the following videos from ‘North Korea Now‘, you can see that Trump is almost desperate to get in on the act, especially after Kim Jong Un had arrived in Singapore with a deal pretty much in place between the two parts of Korea – note the crucial mention of the Panmunjom Declaration (point 3). And I cannot help thinking what may be an unpopular thought among many: that if anyone from the weird place called the United States could pull something like this off, it would be Trump. Note how he calls Kim Jong Un ‘Chairman Kim’ – who after all started the whole process.

China and DPRK working closely together

With the various coverages of the meeting tomorrow between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, a small but important detail may not have received the attention it deserves. Kim Jong Un and his team flew in an Air China plane from Pyongyang to Singapore. Kim has a plane that he can use, so why a Chinese plane? It is not any plane, but one of those used by members of the Chinese Politburo for overseas travel.

The message is clear: the DPRK has the backing of China in the current process. Indeed, since Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping met in March in Beijing (with a follow-up meeting in Dalian), there have been numerous occasions of close consultation and collaboration.

As usual, the most reliable coverage with the best photographs can be found at KCNA and Rodong Sinmun (here, here and here). Some images of the trip, from Pyongyang’s new international airport to Singapore:

I can say that I too fly with Air China, indeed that I make a point of flying – when I have to fly – only with airlines from socialist countries, as I pointed out some time ago.

 

 

Korea takes another step in solving its own problems

While the United States is looking increasingly desperate and floundering, the two parts of Korea have taken yet another step in solving their own problems – a long-standing wish and policy, as I have pointed out on a number of occasions.

Yesterday, Moon Jae-in ducked across the informal border for a candid and unannounced discussion with a new friend, Kim Jong Un. As one does in Korea!

No better source that Rodong Sinmun to report on it (KCNA carries the same report):

The top leaders of the north and the south open-heartedly listened to each other’s opinions on the crucial pending matters without formality, and had a candid dialogue. The meeting offers another historic occasion in opening up a new chapter in the development of the north-south relations.

In a little more detail:

At the talks there were in-depth exchanges of opinions to tackle the matters that should be resolved to quickly implement the Panmunjom Declaration agreed upon at the third north-south summit and to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and achieve regional peace, stability and prosperity, and the matters the north and the south are now faced with, and the one of successfully holding the DPRK-U.S. summit.

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In shared the view that the two sides should trust and take care of each other and exert joint efforts to make sure that the Panmunjom Declaration reflecting the unanimous desire of all Koreans is implemented at an early date.

They agreed to hold the north-south high-level talks on coming June 1 and further accelerate the talks of various fields including the ones of military authorities and Red Cross.

They shared the opinion that they would meet frequently in the future to invigorate dialogue and pool wisdom and efforts, expressing their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula …

The fourth north-south summit held at Panmunjom, recorded in history as a symbol of national reconciliation and unity, peace and prosperity, will provide all Koreans with a new hope and vitality.

Or as Moon himself observed after the meeting: ‘I wish to place a great meaning on the latest talks that were held as if they were an ordinary event between friends. I am convinced that this is the way that South and North Korea must meet’.

Meanwhile, the United States is feeling somewhat left out of all this, so they are now begging to meet Kim Jong Un in June – although by then matters will have moved on. The declaration of course includes the removal of hostile US troops from the peninsula.

To add another twist, KCNA debunks the spin that the DPRK is desperate for ‘economic aid’ from the United States. Simply put, the DPRK does not need that kind of assistance, not least because it has China’s backing and has been doing quite well of late.

The article observes:

This is the nonsense of hack media on the payroll of power, ignorant of who is the rival …

Now that U.S. media are still building up public opinion that the DPRK comes to the negotiating table with the U.S. in a hope to get “economic aid” from it, we can not but make the fact clear.

It is the U.S. that asked for DPRK-U.S. talks first.

The U.S. has recently come to realise that the military strength, it regards as almighty, and the anti-DPRK sanctions, it pinned hope on, were all doomed to failure. After all, there could be no other way out for the U.S.

The international community contends that the world-startling dramatic change in the DPRK-U.S. ties was entirely thanks to the DPRK’s efforts for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the world.

As far as the “economic aid” advertised by the U.S. is concerned, the DPRK has never expected it.

U.S. media would be well advised to stop talking nonsense as hack media and deeply study what the strategic line advanced at the historic April Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea means.

Finally, a useful piece in Rodong Sinmun called ‘Let Us Give Full Play to the Advantages of Socialism’.

Pictures from yesterday’s meeting:

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The text by Moon Jae-in reads: ‘Peace and Prosperity of the Korean Peninsula, together with Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea! May 26, 2018. President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae In’.

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And here is a video report of the meeting:

Second meeting between Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un

In case the rest of the world missed the message of the first meeting between Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, they have just had a second at the beautiful port city of Dalian.

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Addressing each other as comrades, they affirmed the four principles of close ties between China and the DPRK:

Xi stressed that he and Kim held their historic first meeting in Beijing in March this year, during which they had a long and in-depth communication, and reached principled consensus in four aspects on developing China-DPRK relations in the new era.

Firstly, the China-DPRK traditional friendship has been a treasure of both countries. It is an unswerving principle and the only correct choice for both countries to develop the friendly and cooperative China-DPRK relations.

Secondly, both China and the DPRK are socialist countries, and their bilateral relations are of major strategic significance. Both sides need to enhance unity, cooperation, exchanges and mutual learning.

Thirdly, high-level exchanges between the two parties play an irreplaceably significant role in guiding bilateral relations, Xi said. The two sides should maintain frequent exchanges, strengthen strategic communication, deepen understanding and mutual trust, and safeguard common interests.

Fourthly, cementing the people-to-people friendship foundation is an important channel to advance the development of China-DPRK relations, Xi said. The two sides should, by multiple means, enhance people-to-people communication and exchanges to create a sound foundation of popular will for the advancement of China-DPRK relations.

The full story is at Xinhua News.