China, North Korea Aren't Describing Secret Visit the Same

Here's what we can infer from that
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2018 12:41 PM CDT
In this March 26, 2018, photo provided March 28, 2018, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, center right, are greeted by Chinese Communist Party...   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
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(Newser) – Now that North Korea and China have confirmed Kim Jong Un's first trip abroad since becoming his country's leader, the analysis has commenced. The Wall Street Journal pores over how the respective state media are covering the visit—noting such accounts "serve as official readouts for such high-level meetings"—and specifically zeroes in on where they diverge. North Korea's initial reports make no mention of any denuclearization pledge, but do describe Xi Jinping as having accepted an invitation to visit. China characterized future plans only as Kim desiring to "have opportunities to meet [with Xi] regularly," and further sought to obtain pole position, with TV reports showing Xi talking while Kim dutifully took notes (the New York Times notes the significance of that footage, too).

  • Why: It boils down to motive. China is seeking to seize the reins from South Korea and assume its go-between role between the US and the North, and so it is painting Xi as what the Journal calls both an "elder" and "global statesman."

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