China could provide security guarantee to North Korea if talks with US fail: expert

China is likely to provide security guarantee to North Korea if a planned summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump fails to produce results, according to an expert.

China appears to have pledged to offer security guarantee and economic assistance to North Korea in order to keep the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on track in case Trump breaks his promise of holding the meeting with Kim, which is expected to take place on June 12 in Singapore, said Park Jong-chol, director of the Institute of Unification and Peace under Gyeongsang National University, during an interview with Sino-US.com.

Park said that the uncertainties about the prospects of the planned summit might have been caused by Trump's capriciousness, which has reflected by his cancelation of the summit after North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said that the future of the summit is up to Washington and criticized US Vice President Mike Pence for his "unbridled and impudent remark" that North Korea may end like Libya, where then leader Gaddafi was killed by rebels in 2011 after abandoning nuclear weapons. Park identifies Pence as an iconic figure of the conservatives in the United States.

Surprisingly, hours after the cancelation, Trump again changed his stance and said that the summit could still take place on June 12 in Singapore after North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said in a statement that Pyongyang is still ready to sit down for talks with Washington "at any time, in any format".

Trump has also expressed dissatisfaction with China, which he thought might be responsible for North Korea's return to more aggressive rhetoric against the United States, hinting that a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian might play a role in this U-turn.

Park said that if China and the United States cannot reach an agreement on the denuclearization of North Korea, the already tense relations between the two countries would move toward a cold war-like confrontation.

The United States asked for an immediate denuclearization, which is rejected by North Korea.

In Park's opinion, another factor that could affect the future of the summit is US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who advocates the use of the "Libya Model" for the North Korean denuclearization, increasing mutual distrust between North Korea and the United States.

The "Libya Model" is a dangerous option for Kim, as he does not want to follow in Gaddafi's footsteps, said Park.
 


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