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Rediff.com  » News » Ahead of Trump summit, Kim pays second surprise visit to China

Ahead of Trump summit, Kim pays second surprise visit to China

May 08, 2018 21:46 IST

Xi-Kim meeting took place amid concern in Beijing that the North Korean leader is getting too close to US sidelining China pointing to its declining importance in the Korean Peninsula peace process.

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he is hopeful that his planned meeting with United States President Donald Trump will build mutual trust and lead to phased and synchronous measures to achieve denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Xi and Kim had a surprise Wuhan-style informal summit in the northeastern port city of Dalian on Monday and Tuesday, their second meeting in two months.

 

In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, Xi and Kim had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-North Korea relations and major issues of common concern, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Speaking about his high-profile summit with Trump in the coming weeks, Kim expressed hope that the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea) and the US would build mutual trust through dialogue.

He said the relevant sides would take phased and synchronous measures in a responsible manner so as to comprehensively advance the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue and eventually achieve denuclearisation and lasting peace on the peninsula, the report said.

Xi-Kim meeting took place amid concern in Beijing that the North Korean leader is getting too close to US sidelining China pointing to its declining importance in the Korean Peninsula peace process.

In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the two leaders had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-North Korea relations and major issues of common concern, it said.

The two leaders were shown by the state-run television taking a stroll along the beach and holding informal talks at a garden location.

North Korean state media KCTV said Kim flew to Dalian on his private jet on Monday.

The young North Korean leader stirred up tensions on the Korean Peninsula with his nuclear weapons and long-range missile testing.

Kim briefed Xi on the "latest developments" and Party building in his country, the Xinhua report said.

Addressing Kim who heads the ruling Workers' Party of Korea of North Korea as "Comrade Chairman", Xi said Kim "made a special trip to China to meet me again just after 40-odd days" at a crucial time when the Korean Peninsula situation is undergoing profound and complex changes.

"This embodies the great importance that Comrade Chairman and the WPK Central Committee have attached to the relations between the two parties and the two countries, and to their strategic communication. I speak highly of it," Xi said.

"After the first meeting between me and Comrade Chairman, both China-DPRK (relations and the Korean Peninsula situation have made positive progress. I feel happy about it)," he said.

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.

"These are the positive outcomes of the historic meeting between me and Comrade General Secretary," he said.

Xi hosted a welcome banquet for Kim. Together, they also took a stroll and attended a luncheon, the report said.

This is the second informal summit Xi hosted after his last month's Wuhan informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which Beijing said the two leaders reached "important consensus" and drew blueprint for future cooperation.

Kim made his maiden foreign tour by travelling to Beijing by train in March during which the two countries sought to reinforce their close ties as the North Korean dictator warmed up to Trump agreeing to meet the main US demand to abandon the nuclear programme.

Since then, Kim made a highly-publicised visit to South Korea and held a summit meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in. Trump subsequently confirmed his planned summit with Kim without giving details of date and venue.

Reports said the two leaders were expected to meet in Singapore in the coming weeks.

Ahead of Kim's visit to Dalian, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had air dashed to Pyongyang to prepare the ground for the informal summit.

At a crucial time when the regional situation is developing rapidly, Kim said he came to China again to meet Xi and inform him of the situation, hoping to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation with China, deepen DPRK-China friendship, and promote regional peace and stability.

K J M Varma
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