In game of diplomatic chess, Kim Jong Un is proving to be the more astute player

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Standing side by side with US President Trump on North Korean soil is a tremendous propaganda boost to help secure is Kim Jong Un’s leadership at home.

And Trump got want he wanted: another history-making photo opportunity.

Of the two of them, many say it is Kim Jong Un who is getting the most from these meetings. In exchange for all this, Kim has had to suspend his nuclear and long-range missile tests. But not much else.

Some say the US-led sanctions against Kim’s regime are biting. But there is open acknowledgement from the White House that China — far and away North Korea’s biggest economic partner — isn’t rigorously enforcing them anymore.

Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un tour in an open-top limousine waving to Pyongyang crowds

And although it received less international media coverage, Kim only days ago hosted the world’s other most important political leader: Xi Jinping. The Chinese leader made his first visit to North Korea since becoming President six-and-a-half years ago. The pair toured Pyongyang in an open-top limousine waving to adulating crowds in a style only two communist leaders could pull off. The message was clear — China has North Korea’s back —and it is easy to forget that just over a year ago, ties between the two allies were at their lowest point in decades. What a difference a year makes.

So Kim Jong Un has played host to both the US and Chinese presidents within a week. He is on good terms with the South Korean leader. He has goods flowing across the Chinese border again — and he still has his nuclear arsenal as leverage.

In this game of diplomatic chess, Mr Trump and Chairman Kim are both making bold moves. But it is the youthful dictator who is proving to be the more astute player.

[ABC]

This entry was posted in , , , by Grant Montgomery.

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