Voices from Russia

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Kim Jong-un Departs for Singapore Summit

________________________

According to the Yonhap News Agency, an Air China flight departed from Pyongyang airport at 0830 local time. Kim Jong-un boarded a Chinese Boeing 747 commonly used by high-ranking Chinese officials. However, the popular tracking online source Flightradar24 reportedly didn’t specify the destination of the aircraft. The website also didn’t detect any other flights departing from the DPRK. According to Yonhap, many government-chartered planes keep their routes secret due to security issues. According to Reuters, one more plane, an Il-76 cargo jet, departed early on Sunday from the DPRK for Singapore. According to media reports, the cargo plane carried food items as well as several cars to escort Kim Jong-un. The flight tracking service also reportedly showed that the Il-76 landed in Guangzhou in southern China before being airborne again, likely heading for Singapore. Reportedly, Kim Jong-un took only one known overseas trip by air since becoming DPRK leader in 2011. An Il-76 cargo plane accompanied his personal Il-62M jet to China in May.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the White House said that US President Donald Trump also departed for Singapore, where he should meet with Kim on Tuesday. Trump took off from Canada on Saturday after participating in the Group of Seven (G7) summit, and shall arrive in Singapore on Sunday. According to Japan’s Kyodo News agency, citing a diplomatic source, the DPRK leader will arrive in Singapore on Sunday. Earlier, a ROK Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese fighter jets would secure Kim’s flight route to the historic meeting.

The USA-DPRK summit will mark the first-ever meeting of the leaders of the two countries. The highly-anticipated talks were at risk following Trump’s 24 May declaration that he was cancelling the meeting with Kim over Pyongyang’s hostile rhetoric. Last week, however, Trump reinstated the summit after meeting with Kim’s top aide, Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, at the White House.

10 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806101065275784-singapore-trump-kim-summit-departure/

******

According to ROK military sources, the PLA Air Force is preparing to send fighter aircraft to escort DPRK leader Kim Jong-un to an upcoming summit in Singapore where he’ll meet US President Donald Trump after years of hostile relations. A ROK Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese aircraft will secure Kim’s flight to the meeting… and perhaps remind the US side that Beijing will support Pyongyang. the ROK source told SCMP Thursday:

Escorting [a head of state] with jets is one of the highest security protocols that the air force can provide. If China sends air assets to conduct the escort, then, it may be a message directed to the USA-ROK alliance that China is strongly backing up Kim.

The Hong Kong-based newspaper, acquired by Alibaba Group in December 2015, also reported that Beijing is seeking to broaden its influence over Pyongyang ahead of the summit. In recent months, the USA, the ROK, and the DPRK engaged in unprecedented meetings that sparked hopes that the 68-year Korean War will finally be brought to an end, reducing the risk of nuclear conflict in the Korean peninsula.

Trump is also seeking to reduce the US trade deficit with its many trading partners, and China is America’s second-largest such partner, 2018 US Census Bureau data shows. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported:

Trump got fed up with hearing he was weak on China, calling on advisers at a 22 May meeting to get moving on imposing more tariffs against Beijing as a weapon to force trade concessions.

Sceptics of Trump’s approach to relations with China said Beijing is aware of Trump’s two-prong approach and, therefore, unlikely to allow major US victories on both trade and Korean Peninsula denuclearisation.

7 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806071065208322-chinese-jets-escort-kim-jong-un/

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: