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Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:36 PM

Observations on the Xi-Kim Summit

(Source YTN News 6.21) Title of the YTN report was Kim Yeo Jong's position enhanced? Changes observed at President Xi's reception event. Hyun Song Wol, the musical arts group director, appears in a new role at the airport reception. Is she taking over Kim Yeo Jong's former role? She appeared to be coordinating the formal reception activities at the airport while Kim Yeo Jong stood in the reception line with other leaders. Here in this view Hyun is wearing a blue tooth device. She was observed talking with Kim Chang Son, Chairman Kim's Chief of Protocol, during the ceremonies. At one point she ushered China's First Lady Peng Liyuan to her position for the formalities.

(Source YTN News 6.21) Massive coverage of Xi's visit in North Korean media. Welcoming performances for President XI and the First Lady of China at the Mass Games venue. The presentation emphasized historical ties, including the "blood ties" forged in the Korean conflict between the two communist states and various DPRK China summits over history. Choe Ryong Hae, President of the Presidium of the SPA, and First Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Committee, and Premier Kim Jae Ryong, a new State Affairs Committee appointee were seated in front row seats to the right of Xi and the Chinese First Lady.

...The US focus in negotiations with North Korea has been on the "big deal" top down approach, with a view toward public relations and domestic political consumption. Thae Yong Ho, the well known diplomatic defector from North Korea believes that Xi may have a proposal to transmit to the US at the upcoming G20 meeting in Osaka. Thae has been emphasizing that Trump's focus is using the possibility of a third summit with Kim Jong Un as an election campaign strategy.

Jong Se Hyun, former Unification Minister for South Korea, opined that the Chinese North Korean summit was an unwelcome development. Previously, he took a negative view of the outcome of the Hanoi summit, specifically blaming John Bolton for the failure. Apparently, he sees Xi's Pyongyang visit as part of a deteriorating climate for negotiations, in which the North Korean stalemate becomes a card for China to play, in response to US pressure in respect to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other geo-political issues, and the overarching trade dispute. Jong emphasized the problematic one dimensional approach of the US toward the denuclearization issue as opposed to the normalization and security issues also presented in the Singapore joint statement. The US position is a demand for North Korean denuclearization first for promises of normalization, security and economic benefits, later. In Jong's view US failure to move forward on all the issues, by the end of the year, will force North Korea to adhere to the Chinese for security and economic support. He said the US should restart talks with North Korea as soon as practicable, and avoid entangling the negotiations with fourth party China issues.

(Source- Arirang News 6.21)

An English language Arirang News report on youtube noted the presence of "Choe Ryong-hae, the 1st Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, and Premier Kim Jae-ryong at the table with the Chinese delegation for direct talks implying that economic as well as political issues were discussed." Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho was also present.


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