Numerous sources are reporting that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is paying a surprise visit to China. As reported by Bloomberg, an armored train, believed to be the one that carried Kim Jong-Un’s father, Kim Jong-Il, to China, arrived in Beijing yesterday. The train’s occupants were met by a large police escort and whisked away in a fleet of limousines. If the train did indeed contain Kim Jong-Un and a delegation from North Korea, it would be a hugely significant moment.
This would be Kim Jong-Un’s first trip outside of North Korea since he claimed leadership in 2011. A meeting with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, would also be the North Korean leaders first meeting with the head of another state. The timing of the move may well be significant. As reported recently by the Inquisitr, Kim Jong-Un sent his sister and a high-profile delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. During the games opening ceremony, North Korean athletes entered the arena side by side with their South Korean counterparts. North Korea also indicated that they were willing to enter talks with South Korea for the first time in decades.
Last month, Kim Jong-Un surprised the world when he announced that North Korea was willing to enter into dialogue with President Donald Trump and the United States. The announcement marked a huge shift in foreign policy for both the U.S. and North Korea. President Trump moved swiftly to say he would welcome the talks, a dramatic shift away from the threats and insults that the two leaders have been exchanging since President Trump took office.
Let’s be frank, proposed talks between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un must be a good thing, if for no other reason that it reduces the chances of a nuclear World War 3. So, do Kim Jong-Un’s recent actions indicate that North Korea is softening its attitude and entering into a new era of openness and cooperation?
North Korean Defector Tells ‘Time’ that Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear Program Is Complete
Rational thought may lead us to conclude that sanctions and international pressure have finally brought Kim Jong-Un to his senses. However, Time has a different take on the situation. They report that a high ranking North Korean defector has told them that Kim Jong-Un may now see himself in a position of strength because his nuclear weapons program is complete.
“It’s a move stemming from confidence after completing his nuclear weapons program — he’s seeking a deal.
“He looks a lot more wild than his father or grandfather [former regime leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il], but I have seen him grow as a politician since his inauguration. I’ve seen him grow as a strategic thinker.”
Time also reports that Kim Jong-Un may well be pleading with China to offer relief from the sanctions that are said to be crippling the North Korean economy. As reported by CNN, China doesn’t see North Korean nuclear weapons as a threat to its own security. The two countries have a long-standing mutual defense pact.
Of course, there has also been major political upheaval within President Trump’s administration over the past week or so. National security advisor General H.R McMaster has received his marching orders from the White House. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also found himself a victim of Trump’s seemingly never-ending round of White House firings.
McMaster and Tillerson have been replaced by John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, respectively. Both men are perhaps more hawkish than their predecessors. According to USA Today, Bolton has been seeking war with North Korea and Iran, and President Jimmy Carter has described Bolton’s appointment as Trump’s “worst mistake” to date and “a disaster for our country.”
If Kim Jong-Un thinks he is negotiating from a position of strength and comes up against a hawkish John Bolton, the conflict between North Korea and the U.S. may not be over.