XI Jinping took Kim Jong-UN in Dalian

09 May, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Trump: Pompeo Traveling to N. Korea to Prepare for Summit

"In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations and major issues of common concern", Xinhua said, using the initials for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

A Trump-Kim meeting seemed a remote possibility just a few months ago when the two leaders were trading threats and insults over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests.

Kim was likely seeking guidance from the Chinese leader ahead of his high-profile summit with Trump, according to former British charge d'affaires to North Korea Jim Hoare.

Kim expressed hope that his planned meeting with US President Donald Trump will build mutual trust and lead to phased and synchronous measures to achieve denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Speculation had been rife that Kim had travelled to Dalian, not far from the border between China and North Korea, after citizens reported tightened security and traffic controls.

The Chinese foreign ministry would not confirm or deny that a North Korean official had visited the country. It said although the US has stressed time again on the direct talks between US President Donald Trump and Kim yet its unpredictability makes it necessary to be prepared for the worst scenario.

Xi hosted a banquet and told Kim of his backing of North Korea's "strategic shift towards economic development", Xinhua added. A North Korean official on the Korean Central News Agency referred to the situation, stating "This act can not be construed otherwise than a unsafe attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one".

"China is willing to continue to play an active role in realising the denuclearisation of the peninsula and the long-term stability of the region".

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Trump and Kim are expected to meet later this month or early in June for talks that would have been almost unthinkable a year ago, when the two mercurial leaders were trading barbs and Pyongyang tested a barrage of missiles.

Mr Kim is expected to hold an unprecedented summit with Mr Trump late this month or early next month.

Under such circumstances, Kim, chairman of the North's State Affairs Commission, paid a visit to China only 40 days after his last trip to Beijing - which was also his first - in late March.

China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, but Beijing has been angered by Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and supported tough United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.

For his part, Kim said both the DPRK-China friendship and the Korean Peninsula situation have undergone meaningful progress since his visit to Beijing in March this year.

"At this very moment, Secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un", Trump said.

Internet users in China said security was beefed up in Dalian and flight delays happened.

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