The North Korea summit crumbled after China lined up against it
Why did Kim Jong Un recently harden his demands for the summit and stop working on plans for the Singapore meeting with White House and State Department officials?
The answer, according to senior administration officials and outside experts, is China.
President Donald Trump hinted Thursday that he had an idea why the North Korea summit went off track, telling reporters “the dialogue was good until recently, and I think I understand why that happened.”
He went on to joke that reporters could write about it in a book.
But foreign policy analysts aren’t waiting for a book to suggest that Beijing was the hidden hand behind the summit’s derailment, as President Xi Jinping became increasingly anxious about the potential reunification of the Korean Peninsula — with China on the sidelines.
Trump himself suggested his suspicions two days ago when he was asked about China during an Oval Office meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.
“I will say I’m a little disappointed because when Kim Jong Un had the meeting with President Xi in China, the second meeting … I think there was a little change in attitude from Kim Jong Un. So I don’t like that.”
He added: “I think things changed after that meeting, so I can’t say that I’m happy about it.”
And, in fact, there was a noticeable change in Pyongyang’s public statements and private actions after Kim’s second visit to China in two months on May 8, after not having visited China in six years.
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