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China presses Kim on denuclearization
March 28, 2018, 8:21 pm

Kim’s surprise visit to Beijing is being seen as preparation to a North Korean-US Summit [Image released by North Korea’s KCNA]

China’s national news agency Xinhua is reporting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s trip to Beijing yesterday was focused on discussions with President Xi Jinping to find a way to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

The three-day visit, which wasn’t reported until the third day, was the first such trip for Kim Jong Un and came at the invitation of Xi to de-escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim said he felt a moral obligation to inform his Chinese counterpart of recent events on the Peninsula.

“We are willing to work together with DPRK comrades, remain true to our original aspiration and jointly move forward, to promote long-term healthy and stable development of China-DPRK relations, benefit the two countries and two peoples, and make new contribution to regional peace, stability and development,” Xi said.

Kim, meanwhile, addressed the issue of prospective talks with US President Donald Trump in May.

“The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if south Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace,” said Kim.

As North Korea’s only friendly neighbor, Beijing has long pressured Pyongyang to denuclearize and refrain from making threats against South Korea.

But it has also warned Washington that belligerent statements from the White House are counterproductive. China also warned the Americans against schemes of regime change in North Korea.

Kim has been quickly making peaceful overtures to South Korea, which has reciprocated since the thawing of relations during the Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang.

The North Korean leader is expected to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a summit of the Koreas in April.

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in said the anticipated meeting is “miraculous”.

Speculation is rife that China will host the anticipated North Korean-US summit.

This is where China’s central mediation comes through. Both the US and North Korea would find a Chinese venue as opportune, with Beijing reaping all the diplomatic accolades.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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