Fulfilling North Korea's Commitment to Denuclearization Could Have High Cost

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Whoever it is, the move could also be part of a North Korean effort to gain leverage ahead of the planned talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and later U.S. President Donald Trump by showing that it has other options.

KCNA/via REUTERSNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the Second Plenum of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.

Gary Samore, a former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction under the Obama administration, said, "If Trump really believes that he is going to go to this meeting and achieve nuclear disarmament overnight through some process of intimidation and promises, then I think he's going to leave the meeting very disappointed".

Kim also reportedly said, "It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il", according to reports in Chinese media.

China and North Korea share a similar definition of denuclearisation, according to Zhao Tong, a North Korea expert at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre in Beijing. With the United States once announcing that if diplomacy doesn't work with North Korea, they would turn to military action, analysts are of the strong opinion that if the meeting goes wrong, the two nations would be much closer than ever to hitting off a war.

"We speak highly of this visit", Xi told Kim, according to Xinhua.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has agreed to meet with Kim, welcomed this week's meeting between Kim and Xi in a tweet saying, "Look forward to our meeting".

The DPRK leader emphasized his country's determination to transform inter-Korean relations to boost an atmosphere of reconciliation and cooperation during the summits with Moon and Trump. His armored train, a legacy of his plane-phobic father, chugged its way on an unannounced trip to Beijing, marking his first visit to a foreign country as the leader of North Korea. And by reaching out to Kim, Chinese President Xi Jinping reasserted Beijing's desire to control regional developments after standing on the sidelines of the flurry of diplomatic activity between Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang in recent weeks.

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"If the North Koreans did not espouse their readiness for denuclearization, China's Chairman Xi Jinping would've had no reason to agree to the summit".

We don't know what propositions North Korea would place before the U.S. in their summit.

Seoul and Pyongyang held a high-level inter-Korean talks Thursday at the village of Panmunjom on their border and agreed to have the summit between the leaders of the two Koreas on April 27 at the Peace House on the southern side of the Panmunjom.

North Korea's state broadcaster gave the world a rare glimpse inside the green armoured train that took leader Kim Jong-un to China this week, in a long television report aired on Thursday. The North has yet to officially confirm its interest in a summit between Kim and Trump.

President Trump has shown admirable skill in preventing North Korea from gaining the upper hand against the US with aggressive test firings of its nuclear missiles combined with its soft diplomacy at the Winter Olympics.

It may also be that the North recognizes some hard realities.

Kim also called for more meetings with Xi and other Chinese officials and asked Xi to visit North Korea at a time convenient for him, to which Xi "gladly accepted", KCNA said.

Kim Jong Un shocked the world yet again this week, but this time it was with a slow train, not a ballistic missile.