Kim Jong Un may visit Qingdao, meet Xi, Putin ahead of Trump Summit

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will hold its 18th annual summit June 9-10, sources suggest Kim may make a surprise appearance 

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(By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will hold an annual summit meeting in Qingdao, China on June 9 to June 10.

According to some reports, there is speculation that Kim Jong Un may possibly make an appearance at the 18th annual SCO meeting. If Kim were to make the short flight from Pyongyang to Qingdao, the possibility of a trilateral meeting between Kim, Xi Jinping, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, would be a possibility.

The SCO is a Eurasian organization, led by China, that is composed of representatives from eight Central and East Asian countries, which cooperate on issues of security, economic policy and in areas of cultural exchange.

Currently there are eight member states in the SCO, along with four official observer states. The member nations are China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, as well as India and Pakistan which both only recently joined in June 2017.

The SCO conference meeting comes just days before the Trump-Kim Summit, which after some uncertainty over the past two weeks, appears to remain on track for the original June 12 date.

Kim has already met with Xi Jinping twice in 2018, and China remains the only country to receive Kim Jong Un on a formal state visit. It is clear that Xi Jinping has a great interest in the future developments on the Korean Peninsula as they will undoubtedly affect Chinese interests in the region.

To a somewhat lesser extent, Russia is also interested in what agreement if any the United States will reach with the reclusive leader of North Korea.

The report that Kim may receive an invitation and make a guest appearance was reported by the Center for Human Rights in China, and remains unconfirmed.

However, sources say that after the second meeting between Kim and Xi which occurred in Dalian on May 7-8, that visit to Qingdao using Kim’s special armored train would be a simple trip to make, and an opportune time to meet with both Putin and Xi before the potentially momentous summit with Trump.

The China Times reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a statement about the upcoming SCO Summit, declaring that a “Declaration of Qingdao” is expected to be signed at the meeting, along with 10 other agreements on cooperation in fields of security, the economy, and culture.