Published: Sun, November 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Korea's ruling party leader makes efforts towards peaceful solution

Korea's ruling party leader makes efforts towards peaceful solution

Song arrived in Pyongyang on Friday to inform the North of the outcome of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s recent party congress, in which Xi cemented his power as he entered his second five-year term.

North Korea is rejecting calls from China to step away from its nuclear program, claiming such weapons are vital to the security of its people.

Here in Alameda, the use of nuclear weapons anywhere is unacceptable.

The visit comes as Joseph Yun, the USA envoy for North Korea, met Friday with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, on the resort island of Jeju in South Korea. After he left Beijing, Mr. Trump tweeted that he was impressed with China's efforts to push for the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. A recent poll of USA military personnel found a majority consider Trump's threats the number-one danger to our national security.

All eyes are on a possible meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a special Chinese envoy now visiting Pyongyang.

Mr Song's trip comes just a week after Donald Trump visited Beijing as part of an Asia tour.

The U.S. government officially lists Kim Jong Un's birthday as January 8, 1984.

But some analysts and China's state media have been cautious about overly high expectations for Song's visit.

Bonnie Glaser, China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said: "China has virtually no political influence on North Korea".

"The key to easing the situation on the peninsula lies in the hands of Washington and Pyongyang".

An opinion piece by China's state-run Global Times newspaper on Friday said on the special envoy's visit, "Song is not a magician. If both sides insist on their own logic and refuse to move in the same direction, even if Song opens a door for talks, the door could be closed any time". With Song scheduled to return to China on Monday, there's speculation that the meeting, should it take place, will be held Sunday. "Perhaps the lowest point since the Korean War", she said.

Trump said in a speech Wednesday that Xi had agreed not to accept the so-called "freeze for freeze" agreement in which North Korea declares a suspension of its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for South Korea and the United States halting joint military exercises.

Seoul and Washington recently began domestic procedures to amend the five-year-old free trade agreement, known as KORUS, due to President Donald Trump's insistence it has widened the USA trade deficit with South Korea.

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