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China needs seat at the table with U.S., Koreas during nuclear talks

Chinese newspapers with photo of Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un on cover
The front pages of Chinese evening newspapers, showing images of Chinese President Xi Jinping with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Fred Dufour / AFP / Getty Images

In agreeing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, President Trump may have believed that he could strike a deal to finally denuclearize the regime. After Kim’s surprise meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping, however, Trump may now have to rethink his strategy.

Likewise, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s hope for a trilateral summit between the two Koreas and the United States, which would undermine China’s influence, has also turned out to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

Why it matters: Despite recent tensions, China remains North Korea’s most important ally and has a clear role to play in addressing its nuclear program.