Washington DC (People’s Daily) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made an unofficial visit to Beijing, effecting the first foreign trip since he assumed power in 2011.
US President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping informed him the meeting went “very well.” Trump added that he was optimistic North Korea will “do the right thing,” and that he looks forward to the meeting.
Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, showed little concerns about the trip, and told reporters, “We’re going to be cautiously optimistic.” She reiterated the US has made significant progress on the issue and will stay true to the course.
Heather Nauert, the State Department spokesperson, confirmed in a statement the visit is a step in the right direction, and indicated the US looks forward to sitting down in future talks with North Korea.
According to an article published in the New York Times, analysts have said Kim Jong-un is positioning himself as a leader in search of peaceful solutions, and that he’s made all the first moves.
The report from CNN revealed that senior administration officials spent Wednesday trying to decipher North Korean intentions. Though privately Trump is willing to meet Kim, in the coming weeks, US officials and at least one key US ally will look to dampen that optimism. Some officials inside Trump's administration have continued to privately cast doubts that a meeting with Kim will ever materialize.
Former Secretary of State James Baker told NBC News that China holds the key to the denuclearization of North Korea. Baker also highlighted the risk of a military option and expressed his hopes the nations involved can find a diplomatic solution.