North Korea Key When Xi and Trump Meet

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North Korea Key When Xi and Trump Meet
by Stephen Lendman
On April 6 and 7, China’s leader Xi Jinping will meet with Trump face-to-face for the first time at his Mar-al-Lago Florida estate.
They have lots to discuss, including bilateral differences on trade, Beijing’s South China Sea policy, Washington’s provocative deployment of THAAD missiles in South Korea, along with Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. 
Bucknell University China Institute director Zhiqun Zhu said both sides haven’t had much time agreeing on protocol and agenda details. The summit was only announced a week ago.
It’s a way for both leaders to get to know each other, while risking disagreement on key issues. Both want a successful summit. Getting it is another matter.
On Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said parties involved in the North Korea dispute should avoid escalating regional tensions.
China proposed a “dual-track approach” to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, establishing a peace mechanism, wanting a looming crisis defused before things get out-of-hand.
“The ultimate goal is to pull the Korean nuclear issue back on to the right track of peaceful resolution through dialogue and consultation,” she said – reaffirming Beijing’s strong opposition to deploying of provocative THAAD missiles, targeting China and Russia along with North Korea.
Ahead of his meeting with Xi, Trump said he’ll act alone on Pyongyang if China doesn’t help us.
The Global Times (GT) represents Beijing’s geopolitical and other views. On April 5, it said crisis on the Korean peninsula “drags on without a solution.”
Pyongyang “is determined to develop nuclear weapon(s) as well as medium and long-ranged missiles.” China, Japan and South Korea have differing agendas.
Washington bears “major responsibilit(y)” for Northeast Asia crisis conditions. Pyongyang won’t abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs without guarantees for its security – not forthcoming.
It genuinely fears possible US aggression. It’s doing all it can to protect itself, nuclear weapons its main deterrent.
Instead of responsible outreach to its leadership, Trump administration policies continue decades of US hostility.
It’s all sticks and no carrots. When “old strategy” fails, “Washington blames China for not cooperating…”
Tough talk, more sanctions and saber-rattling escalate friction. Attacking North Korea puts the entire region at risk.
Resolving things on the peninsula requires building consensus, not preventing it. Open communication between Washington and Pyongyang is essential.
“China has a bottom line. It will safeguard the security and stability of its Northeast area at all costs,” said GT.
“If Washington is serious (about) strengthening cooperation with Beijing, its policy shouldn’t be against (its) concerns.”
GT published its comments on the eve of Xi’s summit with Trump. Much rides on its outcome.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.