Fletcher in the News

China's Xi to Visit South Korea: Professor Lee Weighs In

Los Angeles Times

Sung-Yoon Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first visit to Korea on Thursday, and in a break with tradition, he will visit South Korea instead of China’s old ally in the North.

…[While] China and North Korea drift apart, Beijing’s relationship with Seoul is blossoming, and Xi could be making a gesture to demonstrate the growing importance of those ties. Xi will spend two days in South Korea; the agenda will include talks about how to further expand already booming bilateral trade and the sensitive issue of North Korea’s nuclear program.

… Following Park and Xi’s summit in China last year, the two leaders issued a statement that included only a general mention of “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” instead of a pointed remark on North Korea ceding its nuclear ambitions. 

… “In the statement from last year’s summit, Xi was unwilling to pinpoint North Korea, choosing instead to include them only by implication. This time Park will at least push to get a clear statement from Xi on North Korean denuclearization down in ink,” said Sung-yoon Lee, an assistant professor at the Fletcher School of international affairs at Tufts University.

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