We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal is regarded with trepidation by leaders in China, who fear the implications should Kim’s regime collapse, Ankit Panda has said. Mr Panda, whose book, ‘Kim Jung-un and the Bomb – Survival and Defence in North Korea’, is published this month, told Express.co.uk the bid to denuclearise North Korea initiated by Mr Trump in 2018 appeared to have stalled.
He said: “It became apparent almost immediately after the June 2018 Singapore summit between Trump and Kim that the fundamental daylight between the United States and North Korea remained as large as ever.
“The pageantry of that summit didn’t yield to real progress on verifiably capping North Korea’s nuclear or missile programs because the two sides were not speaking the same language.”
From late 2019 onwards, the Trump administration had appeared “largely disinterested” in the North Korean question, said Mr Panda, who is the Stanton Senior Fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Nuclear Policy Program.
As the US election nears, we may see North Korea return to higher profile missile tests, seeking to elevate themselves on the foreign policy agenda of the next president, be that Trump again or Biden
He added: “Kim has resumed missile testing in the meantime and Trump, eager to claim that everything is fine, has largely ignored matters.
“As the US election nears, we may see North Korea return to higher profile missile tests, seeking to elevate themselves on the foreign policy agenda of the next president, be that Trump again or Biden.”
Turning his attention to China, Mr Panda added: “One of the most basic errors in contemporary policy debates about North Korea stems from the perception that Pyongyang is a Chinese client.
“From the days of Kim Il-sung, North Korea has certainly benefited from its special relationship with Beijing, but that has not precluded Pyongyang from pursuing its own interests, even at China’s expense.”
Mr Panda explained: “Under Kim Jong-un, between 2013 and 2017, relations between China and North Korea were frosty.
“In 2018, Kim met Chairman Xi Jinping and something Xi emphasised at their first meeting was that he wanted to see regular consultations between the two sides on high-level matters.
Kim Jong-un ‘dead’: North Korean leader’s sister receives ‘promotion’ [INSIGHT]
‘Kim’s not dead – yet’: Expert thinks North Korea’s leader is alive [ANALYSIS]
North Korean residents speak out as mystery over Kim Jong-un deepens [INSIGHT]
“China, like the rest of the world, tolerates North Korea and sees risks and benefits.
“North Korea, for instance, acts as a useful buffer between US forces based in South Korea and the Chinese border.
“But Pyongyang’s fast-growing capabilities have kept US forces in Northeast Asia and, in particular, kept US alliances with South Korea and Japan strong.
“Chinese leaders are also concerned about the possibility of North Korea’s collapse.
“For Beijing, stability in North Korea is an important priority, lest their nuclear-armed, temperamental neighbour turn into a nightmare along their frontier.”
Speaking yesterday, the head of US forces in South Korea said he was not seeing indications that North Korea was looking at “lashing out” ahead of an expected military parade, as Pyongyang was internally focused on dealing with typhoon damage and the coronavirus.
Robert Abrams said: “There’s people suggesting that perhaps there will be a rollout of a new weapon system.
“Maybe, but we’re not seeing any indications right now of any sort of lashing out.
Satellite imagery of a North Korean shipyard shows activity suggestive of preparations for a test of a medium-range submarine-launched ballistic missile, a US think tank said last week.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the images it published on its website of North Korea’s Sinpo shipyard showed several vessels within a secure boat basin, one of which resembled vessels previously used to tow a submersible test stand barge out to sea.
Kim Jung-un and the Bomb – Survival and Defence in North Korea is published by Hurst.
Source: Read Full Article