North Korea: Denuclearization is close?

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Before the surprise visit of Kim Jong-un to China, a second meeting with the United States could be specified

North Korea: Denuclearization is close?

For several months it has been expected that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will hold a second summit with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and in which the issue of denuclearization will be discussed. On January 9, the leader of the North Korean regime left for the fifth time since his mandate started in 2011, as reported by La Razón.

Leer en español: Corea del Norte: ¿la desnuclearización está cerca?

The reason for his departure was to meet with the president of China, Xi Jinping, who invited him to attend in Beijing. As stated by the Chinese news agency Xinhua, the intervention of Xi could be a prelude to an important meeting between Kim and Trump.

If Xi's efforts are rewarded, it would be the second time that the presidents would meet. The first meeting took place in June 2018, in Singapore in which both countries agreed to work on the denuclearization of North Korea, this includes the Asian country eliminating its program of nuclear and ballistic weapons permanently. In return, North Korea demands that the United States lift the sanctions that weigh on the North Korean regime

However, and despite the announcements of the continuation of the dialogues in the face of denuclearization, no apparent progress has been seen since that last meeting, given that a clear strategy for the disarmament process has not been designed.

You may be interested in reading: North Korea and South Korea: looking for peace

Denuclearization

One of the main problems that North Korea has is its extensive nuclear project. If they can agree to disarm, according to experts, the project would take around 10 years and cost a little more than 20,000 million dollars, as reported by El País. However, the international community is skeptical that North Korea will entirely agree, as the Asian country often resorts to intimidation, which is usually accompanied by the launching of nuclear missiles, provided it is under a damaging situation.

On the other hand, the Eurasia Group states that in the visit to China Kim possibly pressured Xi to reiterate support in a denuclearization based on different phases. Faced with this, Xi Jinping addressed the media affirming their support for a possible dialogue between the two countries, reiterating the importance and participation of Beijing in the process. According to the Xinhua news agency, the Chinese president said that his country "is willing to play a 'positive and constructive role' to maintain peace and stability and achieve denuclearization in the peninsula."

Although relations between China and North Korea had deteriorated as a result of nuclear activities, Kim's constant visits to China in which the Chinese president learned of North Korea's progress, would seem to have been forgotten. No wonder, because China represents a tremendous economic and diplomatic support against the international isolation characteristic of North Korea.

Imminent Dialog

This is what the president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, called the denuclearization process. In his New Year's speech, the president said that "North Korea needs to take stronger measures for denuclearization if it wants to solve the issue of international sanctions," as Sputnik puts it. He also pledged to help the United States and other countries to achieve peace in the peninsula, where since the end of the Korean War, the two countries cut relations due to their differences in the economic model. Regarding the surprise meeting of Kim and Xi, he commented that "the visit to China will have a very positive effect on the success of the second US-North Korea summit."

Finally, and as a process to help the denuclearization of the country, Kim Jong-un said that in 2019, he hopes to meet more with his counterpart in the south to "jointly solve the problem of the denuclearization of the peninsula," as indicates Infobae. In 2018, they made three historical visits, two of them in the demilitarized zone of both countries. The third was held in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea.

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Corea del Norte: ¿la desnuclearización está cerca?"

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