Politics

Trump Drove Kim Jong-un to Make Historic Beijing Visit, Experts Say

Ambassador John Bolton, the president's incoming national security adviser, also will be 'North Korea and China's worst nightmare' ahead of bilateral talks

Asia expert Harry Kazianis warned Monday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is reportedly visiting Beijing to curry favor with the Chinese and “to figure out how to get out of” the tough situation with President Donald Trump.

Bloomberg reported Monday that Kim made a surprise visit to China — his first foreign visit since assuming power in 2011 — citing three anonymous sources.

“But I think there’s actually a bigger question you have to ask — is Kim Jong-un actually panicking?” Kazianis told host Laura Ingraham. “Because we have to remember — what do the North Koreans actually get out of the negotiations with the United States? Nothing. Because now the Trump administration is demanding that they give up their nuclear weapons.”

“So what do the North Koreans get here? I have a feeling the North Koreans could actually be in Beijing to figure out how to get out of this and hope the Chinese can help them do that,” Kazianis added.

Trump shocked the world earlier in March when he agreed to meet with Kim after the dictator made significant concessions by agreeing to halt nuclear and ballistic missile tests while preparations for the meeting proceeded. Kim also recognized continued joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

Gordon Chang, a Daily Beast columnist and author of the book “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On The World,” told Ingraham that “what’s going on is that [Chinese President] Xi Jinping is trying to pull the strings on the North Koreans.”

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“You know, Kim Jong-un — the first foreign leader he wanted to meet was South Korea’s Moon Jae-in. The second one was President Trump. Xi Jinping says, ‘No, the optics look really bad. I’m going to force the North Korean to come to Beijing,’ because Kim Jong-un in Xi Jinping’s mind is a vassal.”

“This sort of shows that — look, China does control North Korea. When China really wants something, they get it,” Chang warned. “And I think that really right now what we are seeing is the Chinese telling the North Koreans, ‘You’ve got to do what we, the Chinese, say.'”

News of Kim’s reported trip also came less than a week after Trump appointed former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton to replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster. The North Koreans fear Bolton, Chang said, because he “is going to put an end to” North Korea’s weapons sales with countries like Iran.

Related: NKorea Plots Getting ‘Across the Finish Line by Distracting Us’ with Talks, Bolton Warns

“And I’m sure the North Koreans are very concerned — also the Chinese, because the Chinese have been aiding in this deadly trade, and they’re not going to like to see Bolton in 1600 Pennsylvania [Ave.] really putting an end to their support for North Korea,” Chang said.

Kazianis concurred, saying that Bolton “is North Korea and China’s worst nightmare,” because he will follow Trump’s lead and “drive very hard terms when it comes to negotiations.”

“[Bolton’s] also going to drive hard terms in terms of trade … I think it’s a fact that the Chinese have really been doing a lot of damage to our economy,” Kazianis said. “Now that you’re going to have maximum pressure on North Korea … you’re also going to have maximum pressure on China.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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