Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Kim Jong-un visits China

Kim Jong-un visits China Kim Jong-un visits China
Steven Clarke | 19 June, 2018, 13:08

In return, Trump said he would stop joint military drills with South Korea, long seen as a provocation by Pyongyang and Beijing.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is beginning a two-day visit to China, following his summit with Donald Trump in Singapore last week. This would be his third visit to China, North Korea's main ally and key source of trade and economic assistance. North Korea proposed the disarming, on a trial basis, the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom, the only site in the DMZ where both countries' soldiers stand nearly face to face, the South's presidential spokesman said on Friday.

The U.S. has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the Korean War, in which China fought on North Korea's side and which ended in 1953 with an armistice and no peace treaty.

Involving tens of thousands of troops from the USA and South Korea, the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise includes computer simulations carried out in a large bunker south of Seoul, meant to check the allies' readiness to repel aggression by North Korea.

In a formal letter, Kim notes that "Xi Jinping, assuming the heavy responsibility as the top leader of the party, state, and army, wisely led the struggle of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people to achieve the great prosperity of China".

In her statement Monday statement, White said no decision has been made on other future "war games".

There was no immediate reaction from North Korea. "Plus, it is very provocative".

The US-South Korean exercise calendar hits a high point every year with the Foal Eagle and Max Thunder drills, which both wrapped up last month.

Diplomatic efforts have gathered pace since then, leading to a landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore last week.

Captain Kane gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia
We've let ourselves down - I am part of the problem by the way for eight of the last nine tournaments. England manager Gareth Southgate was delighted with his team.

A trade war with the US could make it less attractive for China to use its influence over North Korea to help the USA achieve its objectives of denuclearization.

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration expects exercises to be "on pause" while North Korea negotiations continue.

With tensions in East Asia escalating with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests, Beijing has pressed for a simultaneous halt to North Korea's nuclear program and military maneuvers between the United States and South Korea since March previous year.

A snapback clause is likely to be included in the historic announcement that the allied forces would resume the massive military exercise if North Korea failed to fulfil its commitment to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Until recently Mr Trump had pursued a "maximum pressure" campaign - with both China and South Korea on board - of tough rhetoric and tightened sanctions against Pyongyang.

North Korea has always reacted to the Ulchi exercises with belligerence and often its own demonstrations of military capability.

The other major USA exercises with South Korea - Key Resolve and Foal Eagle - took place earlier this spring.

Trump's decision to suspend the exercises, coupled with the vague joint statement issued after his summit with Kim, have reinforced fears in South Korea that the North is attempting to take advantage of a U.S. president who appears to care less about the traditional alliance than his predecessors.

The Pentagon has typically avoided describing the joint exercises as "war games" and has previously insisted they are not provocative because they are exclusively for defensive purposes.

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