Wednesday, 20 March, 2019


Kim Jong Un concludes China visit ahead of possible 2nd Trump summit

The train used by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un departs from Beijing on Wednesday The train used by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un departs from Beijing on Wednesday
Bennie Garza | 10 January, 2019, 07:23

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Kim Jong-un that Beijing supports a second summit between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump, adding that he hopes they "meet each other halfway", according to state media.

On Tuesday, Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for about an hour to discuss the looming North Korea-US summit, which is expected to take place this month or next.

The report by Xinhua news agency on Thursday came a day after Kim concluded an unannounced two-day trip to China, North Korea's major diplomatic ally and primary source of aid and trade.

Kim could not be seen but the limousine he uses was observed zipping east down a main thoroughfare in Beijing and then returning about an hour later.

Shi Yinhong, an worldwide relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Kim's trip would have no direct influence on the progress of trade talks.

"On Secretary Pompeo's visit to North Korea, we don't have any travel to announce at all", US State Department spokesperson Katina Adams said in response to Radio Free Asia's request for comment Tuesday.

A majority of Donald Trump's administration does not want to achieve a peace agreement with North Korea, as they wish to keep troops in South Korea and form a "strategic encirclement" of China, contends a former United States diplomat.

He said North Korea needed to take "bold steps" towards denuclearisation in order to draw US concessions such as sanctions relief.

But progress has since stalled with Pyongyang and Washington disagreeing over what that means.

China is North Korea's only real ally internationally and is Pyongyang's biggest trading partner by some margin.

Each time Kim visited China past year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang shortly afterward, but the US official seems to have no similar plan this time.

Xi commended North Korea for its denuclearisation efforts and said China supported the resolution of concerns through dialogue.

The meeting was followed by a dinner hosted by Xi and his wife, Yonhap said.

He also credited President Xi Jinping with helping reduce regional tensions, saying "the Korean Peninsula situation has been easing since past year, and China's important role in this process is obvious to all". Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the news agency said.

Relations between China and North Korea had deteriorated in recent years over Pyongyang's nuclear activities, but Kim has made sure to keep Xi informed about his dealings with the United States and South Korea as ties appear to have warmed.

"The Korean peninsula situation has been easing since previous year, and China's important role in this process is obvious to all ... the DPRK side highly and sincerely appreciates the Chinese efforts", Kim said. "On this, the United States and North Korea don't have trust, so China has to act as a bridge", Wang said.

Xi re-asserted China's importance in the diplomatic process surrounding the Korean peninsula, Xinhua said, quoting him as saying that Beijing stands ready to "play a positive and constructive role in maintaining peace and stability and realizing denuclearization on the peninsula and lasting peace and stability in the region".

In the morning, Kim visited Tong Ren Tang, located in an economic-technological development zone in Beijing, which is the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine.

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