GORDON CHANG: Trump Blames China’s Xi Jinping for Sabotaging the Kim Jong Un Summit.
Last week, the North Koreans, who this year gave the impression they had turned over a new leaf, began acting like North Koreans again. They abruptly canceled high-level talks with Seoul, scheduled for last Wednesday, and cast doubt on their willingness to meet with Trump in Singapore on June 12. They cited their displeasure with long-scheduled joint military exercises and with John Bolton, Trump’s new national security adviser.
Moon has since tried to alleviate Kim Jong Un’s concerns, withdrawing, for instance, from the Blue Lightning air-training exercise with the United States and Japan this month. Seoul’s tactics have not worked to mollify the Kim regime, however.
Now, analysts want to know what caused the North’s return to the dark side, which took senior Trump officials by complete surprise. But the new hostility should have been anticipated. It was evident that Xi Jinping, whom Trump called a “friend” yesterday, put the North Koreans up to their new bristling posture.
Just last month it appeared as thought Xi had yanked Kim’s chain hard enough to force him to the negotiating table. But now this:
Xi obviously has been up to no good. In addition to openly violating U.N. sanctions in recent months, Xi has undoubtedly been schooling Kim in the art of defiance of the international community, especially the United States. That second Xi-Kim meeting—held May 7 and 8 in the Chinese city of Dalian—preceded North Korea’s return to bad behavior.