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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has paid an unofficial visit to China. This was Kim Jong Un’s first overseas trip since he took office in 2011. In April, the North Korean leader is expected to meet with his South Korean counterpart – Moon Jae-in. He is also due to meet with US President Donald Trump in May.

    Sputnik discussed the significance of Kim Jong Un's visit to China with Tom McGregor, political analyst and Asia-Pacific Commentator at China’s national TV broadcaster – CNTV.

    Sputnik: How significant is the North Korean leader’s visit to Beijing?

    Tom McGregor: Well obviously it’s absolutely necessary considering the timing and that Trump soon will be meeting face-to-face with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader. You need to do some preparation on the North Korean side, and a lot of times they have to rely on his partners from Russia or from China to get a better understanding of how to handle the upcoming meeting — how to talk with Trump. Because there are times when Putin has met Trump and also Xi Jinping has met Trump. So he can get some ideas on the kind of person that Trump is and to know what to expect with this meeting that will happen soon.

    Sputnik: Do you expect China to play an instrumental role in facilitating this meeting and will the relationship between the US and China, when they're on the verge of what many are saying could be a trade war, still be influential?

    Tom McGregor: Of course it will be very influential, just like Russia is in Asia as well. But most of this stuff that’s been happening was behind closed doors; no one‘s been noticing it. It’s bectren handled in the way where the media was unaware of what was really happening. The fact is that, I'm sure, as you know in Russia, the Moscow government has wanted to see peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as China, and the way to make it happen is to arrange a meeting with Trump. Of course, making public announcements is just not the Chinese way; the Chinese are not like Americans: we love to talk about ourselves, we love to praise ourselves, it’s just our nature. But the Chinese don’t think that way. Actions speak louder than words for them, and that being said, they've probably played an essential role to make this meeting happen. They just didn’t make a big announcement out of it, it’s no big deal, it’s Chinese culture.

    Sputnik: What’s the significance of this meeting in terms of how it could possibly stabilize the situation in the region?

    Tom McGregor: This is going to be a very transformational meeting, this is going to be something that’s going to change how Asia-Pacific looks. After the meeting we are going to see great peace on the Korean Peninsula, we’re also going to see a lot of other issue resolved while they have these discussions, it’s not just about the Korean Peninsula, it’s also about a lot of Asia-related issues.

    Sputnik: So what do you think about the timing? Why exactly now?

    Tom McGregor: There will always be an issue of potential conflict, there will always be issues of potential wars. Why now, there’s no big deal about now, it's always going to be the case that there’s always going to be conflicts the only difference is that there is President Trump, who does not bluff. They know he serious, if he says he’s going to do something he’s going to do it, North Korea realizes that, so they need to figure out the best deal possible or there’s going to be some big problems for North Korea.

    Sputnik: Kim Jong Un has actually been openly talking about a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, but at the same time there are also reports that Washington has intelligence; there’s new evidence that North Korea is continuing in their nuclear program, they haven’t stopped…

    Tom McGregor: I’m pretty sure they are, there’s no surprise there; it's a pattern of behavior.

    Sputnik: Do you think that North Korea is willing to give up their nuclear program and what will it take for that to happen?

    Tom McGregor: They have to. They have no other choice, they’re trying to fight for survival, you have to think about what’s at stake and why people do what they do; you have to think about their conditions and their situation. When you see North Korea, these people who are the leaders of the government want to maintain control and will do whatever it takes to maintain that control.

    READ MORE: Nukes and Peace: What Was N Korea's Kim Doing in China

    So obviously they’re going to use these nuclear weapons, that’s not a good idea for the world. That’s a rather scary situation, because you have sometimes an erratic government and these wild threats, and you never know one if one day they’re actually going to press the button and start shooting. This is a scary thing, it’s not as stable as China or Russia, or the EU. This is a country that at times when they make threats they do foolish actions at times, so they have to be monitored, they have to be stopped. I think they’ve just gotten away with it for so long, and now someone like President Trump comes in, and oops, we can no longer play the games that we were playing before; will have to get serious.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China
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