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China's North Korea Summit Invite Not What US Wanted

Image: China's North Korea Summit Invite Not What US Wanted

North Korean leader Kim Jong un, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping (AP Photos)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 May 2017 06:35 AM

China's invitation to North Korea to a major economic summit on Sunday is not what the United States wanted.

The U.S. had hoped China would help isolate the reclusive country in an effort to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, according to the Washington Post. Instead North Korea officials have been invited to Sunday's 28-country summit known as the Belt and Road.

The summit will reveal China's plans to increase its links throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa while spending billions in infrastructure.

China, though, has not invited North Korea's rival South Korea to the conference, citing its dispute over a U.S. defense missile system's presence in their country, reported the South China Morning Post.

The defense missile system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, went into operation last week, said The New York Times.

Through a spokesman in April, newly-elected South Korean president Moon Jae-in called the arrival of the missile system in South Korea "very inappropriate," according to Reuters.

It was believed that the relationship between China and North Korea had reached new lows in recent weeks as many feared that Pyongyang was prepping for a sixth nuclear test. China had banned North Korea coal imports in February while Pyongyang charged that Beijing with betraying their relationship, noted the South China Morning Post.

The Morning Post said North Korea's inclusion in the summit surprised some observers.

"According to what I understand, the North Korean side will send an official delegation to relevant events at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that will shortly be taking place," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news conference, per the Washington Post.

"China is open-minded. Any like-minded country, as long as you are interested, can participate in this initiative," Shuang continued.

Sun Xingjie, a Korean affairs specialist at Jilin University, told the Morning Post that he was surprised by China's invitation.

"It cannot be a good thing because it won't (help strengthen) international sanctions."

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China's invitation to North Korea to a major economic summit on Sunday is not what the United States wanted.
china, north korea, summit
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2017-35-10
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 06:35 AM
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