North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and vowed efforts to produce good results from his second summit with US President Donald Trump, Chinese media reports said Thursday.
But since North Korea's rapprochement with South Korea and the U.S., Kim and Xi have thawed their frosty relationship, as each wants to negotiate with Trump on a key topic: Kim on denuclearization and Xi on trade. Xi also reportedly accepted a previous invitation to visit the North Korean capital a year ago but has yet to go.
Discussions between the USA and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal have stalled since Kim and Trump's high-profile summit in Singapore in June where they issued a vaguely worded declaration about denuclearisation.
Moon added that matters related to establishing peace and declaring the end of the Korean War can be considered as measures corresponding to Pyongyang's denuclearization steps, and that he hopes the differences in Pyongyang and Washington's views on the issues will be resolved through the second Trump-Kim meeting.
Kim held three summits past year with Xi, his most important ally, before and after summits with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Lu on Tuesday clarified Beijing's role amid the North-U.S. denuclearization talks, saying China aims to play a "positive factor". -North Korea summits and hopes the two sides 'will meet each other halfway'.
His visit was also seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of United Nations sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government is "using various channels" to communicate with North Korea, including over a potential summit with Kim Jong Un.
While North Korea hasn't conducted any launches or detonations in more than a year, it's displayed no real intention of abandoning the programs that are seen as guaranteeing the hard-line communist regime's survival.
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KCNA reported that Kim on Wednesday visited a pharmaceutical plant belonging to Beijing Tongrentang Co.
Details of his visit have not been released, but Mr. Kim reportedly met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Each of the previous meetings between Kim and Xi have come shortly before or after summits the North Korean leader has held with either Trump or the South's President Moon Jae-in.
Kim later met with Xi for a second consecutive day, having a luncheon around noon at the five-star Beijing Hotel, which has a long history of hosting important receptions, near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
"To resolve the issue of worldwide sanctions on North Korea, I believe the North should take practical, bolder steps towards denuclearization".
While Kim was in China, Xi's government was in talks with a visiting US delegation over a trade war that has been extracting a financial cost on the world's two biggest economies.
However, a meeting between Mr Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol has yet to be rescheduled after an abrupt cancellation in November.
"China has been an important force in promoting the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and peace and stability on the peninsula", said Lu.
Our starting point this morning is the South Korean President's New Year's press conference.