SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
People walk past a television screen showing a news broadcast, featuring North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting with with China’s president Xi Jinping, at Seoul Station in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
“Comparing the Chinese and North Korean readouts of the meeting, I’m struck once again by the absence of any mention of the nuclear issue in the North Korean version,” Joshua Pollack, senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, told CNBC.
“The Chinese version says that Kim Jong Un reaffirmed North Korea’s commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Pollack said. “The North Korean version conspicuously fails to confirm this or any of the rest of the Chinese account of the leaders’ exchanges.”
Reacting to the news, Trump tweeted Wednesday that “there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right” and “Kim looks forward to meeting me.”
And if the North is willing to give up its nuclear weapons, the U.S. will most likely be tasked to give the reclusive state something big in return.
“The key question the world needs to ask is this: what does Kim Jong Un want for those nukes?” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, told CNBC.
“What would Kim Jong Un demand from the United States and South Korea for giving up its nuclear weapons? Would they demand, for example, the ending of the U.S.-South Korea alliance and the removal of all U.S. forces from the Korean Peninsula? Could Kim demand America also denuclearize, as has been the case in the past?” Kazianis added.
“This is all just the beginning of what will be a historic few weeks in Asia. Either history will be made, or we will be back at the brink all over again,” he said.