North Korea is Attending a Major Economic Summit in China

From the Washington Post.  Visit the source for Twitter posts of quotes used in the article.

China invites North Korea to major economic summit, despite U.S. pressure to isolate Pyongyang

May 9

Left, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a military parade on April 1 in Pyongyang. Right, Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting in Alaska in April. (Left, Wong Maye-E/Associated Press; right, Michael Dinneen/Associated Press)
Left, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a military parade on April 1 in Pyongyang. Right, Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting in Alaska in April. (Left, Wong Maye-E/Associated Press; right, Michael Dinneen/Associated Press)

BEIJING — A North Korean delegation will attend a large multilateral economic summit in Beijing next week, China’s Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday, underlining its reluctance to join American efforts to completely isolate the regime in Pyongyang.

President Trump has set great store in China’s ability to help persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. But although China says it has suspended coal imports from its neighbor, trade between the two nations has remained healthy.

On Sunday and Monday, leaders from 28 nations will attend a major event in Beijing — a forum on China’s ambitious development project known as the Belt and Road — meant to expand links between Asia, Europe and Africa and channel billions of dollars into infrastructure investment.

“According to what I understand, the North Korean side will send an official delegation to relevant events at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that will shortly be taking place,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news conference. “China is open-minded. Any like-minded country, as long as you are interested, can participate in this initiative.”

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that Kim Yong-jae, the North Korean minister of external economic relations, would lead the delegation.

Ely Ratner, who served as deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, seized on the announcement as evidence that Trump is placing too much confidence in the Chinese leadership.

China’s relations with North Korea have deteriorated sharply of late, but Beijing has repeatedly urged the United States and North Korea to refrain from provoking each other and instead return to the negotiating table.

While it shares the American goal of persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program, China disagrees on tactics, believing that isolating North Korea economically and diplomatically will only force the regime into a corner.

“China is willing to continue to maintain contact with the parties concerned, do all the work, to promote the peninsula nuclear issue back through dialogue and consultation, and to make efforts to resolve the issue in a peaceful way to the correct track,” Geng said Tuesday.

Similarly, the Chinese ambassador to the United States wrote in USA Today this week that putting too much pressure on North Korea, officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), could backfire.

“The pressure, economic and military, on the DPRK continues to build up. Yet how much is sufficient without triggering a humanitarian crisis or pushing Pyongyang into desperation? Another Iraq, Libya or Syria in Northeast Asia is a nightmare for all. Sanctioning alone will not work. Pressure must be coupled with direct talks with the DPRK,” Cui Tiankai wrote.

The U.S. policy of trying to isolate and pressure the North Korean regime could face another tough challenge as South Korea looks set to elect a new president, Moon Jae-in, who favors engagement with his northern neighbor.


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I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

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