- Donald Trump said Wednesday that China backed him on North Korea.
- But the next day China contradicted him entirely.
- Even South Korea has expressed doubts about Trump’s goal in dealing with North Korea.
After a 12-day trip to Asia where President Donald Trump stressed his friendship and mutual understanding with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing appears to have crossed Trump on a key issue — North Korea.
At every turn during his trip, Trump insisted that the US’s goal was North Korea’s denuclearization. He stressed the “grave threat” the rogue nuclear nation posed to millions in the region around the world.
But now, China seems to have rejected the idea of denuclearization, and instead wants the US to settle for a freeze in North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for a freeze in the US’s military drills with South Korea.
On Wednesday, Trump said that he and Xi “agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze-for-freeze agreement like those that have consistently failed in the past.”
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that a dual suspension, the Chinese’s preferred term for the “freeze-for-freeze” deal, the “most feasible, fair and sensible plan in the present situation.”
The difference of opinion has gone on for years, with China repeatedly suggesting the dual freeze and the US routinely rejecting it.
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