I’m very curious about this. I’m interested in hearing from anyone who knows more.
The BBC correspondent in Beijing and the BBC Bureau Chief for North America say that China (specifically, the government spokesman in a daily briefing) announced that the US had agreed to suspend military exercises with South Korea before President Trump announced it in his press conference. In other words, they knew in advance.
Based on only the latter’s account I wasn’t certain whether the timing was right – timezone differences and whatever other possible confusions. But Stephen McDonell’s account from Beijing seems pretty open and shut. It’s still possible there’s some misunderstanding here. But it seems unlikely. What’s going on here?
The most logical explanation is that Trump made this commitment to Kim during their discussions and the North Koreans communicated that to their Chinese counterparts in real time. Another possibility is that this was all agreed in advance. But initial reports at least say the South Koreans were caught off guard by Trump’s announcement. So that seems unlikely.
What happened? And how much did the North Koreans get here?