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Donald Trump Tells China to Close Its Border With North Korea Ahead of Kim Jong Un Summit

President Donald Trump has urged China to seal its border with North Korea in order to put maximum pressure on Pyongyang in the lead-up to a planned meeting with the country’s leader Kim Jong Un next month.  

“China must continue to be strong & tight on the Border of North Korea until a deal is made. The word is that recently the Border has become much more porous and more has been filtering in. I want this to happen, and North Korea to be VERY successful, but only after signing!” Trump tweeted on Monday.

Trump claims that the international sanctions against North Korea his administration advocated for brought the rogue regime to the negotiating table. However, North Korea has vehemently disputed this statement.

“The U.S. is miscalculating the magnanimity and broad-minded initiatives of the DPRK as signs of weakness and trying to embellish and advertise as if these are the product of its sanctions and pressure,” North Korea’s government said in a statement last week. The North Korean regime also suggested that it could cancel its scheduled meeting with Trump if the U.S. doesn’t change its approach.

Still, Trump continues to argue that North Korea will be “decimated” if it doesn’t work toward complete denuclearization. South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to urge Trump to move forward with the diplomatic effort. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet on June 12 in Singapore if the talks take place.

"We believe there is a 99.9 percent chance the North Korea-U.S. summit will be held as scheduled….But we're just preparing for many different possibilities,” Moon’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters Tuesday ahead of Moon’s meeting with Trump.

Nevertheless, experts say that Moon’s visit is a desperate attempt to save the negotiations despite divergent views on what denuclearization and peace would look like for both countries.

“Considering how far apart Pyongyang and Washington are when it comes to denuclearization, with Kim apparently wanting to make an aspirational pledge, whereas the Trump Administration is looking for concrete steps and I would assume some sort of timeline, there is a good chance this summit does not happen,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. told Newsweek.

“In fact, I would argue South Korea’s President Moon is here in town to save it," Kazianis continued. 

Also on Tuesday, Trump signaled that he thinks the summit "may not work out" in June. 

“We’re moving along. We’ll see what happens....If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later," Trump told reporters. 

Furthermore, China is North Korea’s largest trading partner and has potentially more leverage than South Korea. Beijing has not signaled that it will alter its trade with North Korea or take further measures to close its border with the country. 

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