The Korean Peninsula remains in a state of War. The Korean War ended in 1953, and though 65 years have passed, a peace Treaty has not been signed, with the result that normalcy has not been restored on the Korean peninsula. News has now come that the Korean leader Kim Jong has commenced his 4th visit to China. He will meet President Xi and will be in China until the 10th of January. Kim is accompanied by his wife and many top-ranking Korean officials.

The NY Times has reported that the team includes Kim Yong-Chol, the close confidant of the Korean leader who is the main diplomat involved in negotiations with the United States.

It is worth noting that during the first five years of his regime Kim never visited China but now within a year he is making his fourth visit. This will certainly raise eyebrows.

Trump-Kim meeting

After the first Trump-Kim meeting expectations of both sides have suffered. Trump has not withdrawn the sanctions, and North Korea has not denuclearised. Denuclearisation of the entire Korean peninsula was the major outcome of the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore followed by the gradual lifting of sanctions.

The North Korean leader had been hoping that America will at least partially lift the sanctions, but on the ground, nothing has happened. Trump who met the Russian president Putin early last year has however given a positive reaction to a second summit meeting with Kim and the Korean leader has echoed the idea.

The New York Times has reported that the visit by Kim to China is important and will give Kim and Xi an opportunity to coordinate a common strategy, should there be a second meeting with Trump sometime later this year. China is the main supporter of the Kim regime, and it is obvious that Kim cannot survive without the active backing of China.

China visit

The visit and its outcome have been kept under wraps, and very little is known as to what transpired between Kim and President Xi. China itself is bristling at the ongoing trade war with the USA and Trump's militaristic approach to Taiwan and the islands in the South China Sea. It is possible president Xi will try and coordinate steps with the Korean leader in evolving a joint strategy against the USA.

Denuclearisation and sanctions

As things stand the sanctions remain in force, and despite Trump's friendly noises the Korean leader has hinted that non-lifting of the sanctions is a sore point. The Washington Post has reported that in Singapore, Kim, and Trump who recently decided to cut troops in Afghanistan had agreed to work toward “Complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.” There does not seem to have been any progress on that account, and it's a moot point what Trump will achieve with a second meeting.