N. Korea, China Discuss 'True Peace,' Denuclearization: KCNA
By Reuters 20 June 2018
SEOUL — North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an understanding on issues that were discussed at a summit between the two leaders, including denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the North’s state media said on Wednesday.
Kim and Xi assessed the historic meeting Kim had with US President Donald Trump in Singapore last week and exchanged opinions on ways to resolve the issue of denuclearization, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
The North Korean leader also promised during a meeting with Xi in Beijing to cooperate with Chinese officials to secure “true peace” in the process of “opening a new future” on the Korean peninsula, it said.
Kim’s two-day visit to Beijing will end later on Wednesday, according to state media from China and North Korea. It follows his Singapore summit, where Kim and Trump reaffirmed a commitment to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Trump surprised officials in South Korea and the United States after that meeting by saying he would end “provocative” joint US-South Korean military exercises.
The United States and South Korea said on Tuesday they had agreed to suspend a joint military exercise scheduled for August, although decisions regarding subsequent drills have not yet been made.
On Wednesday, South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-hwa said the decision to suspend the exercise could be reconsidered based on future developments with North Korea.
“I think we’ve made it clear this is a goodwill gesture to strengthen dialogue momentum,” Kang said.
“It’s not irreversible. They could come back if the dialogue loses speed, or if North Korea doesn’t live up to its denuclearization commitment,” she said.
Kim is on his third visit to China this year. Xi offered high praise to the North Korean leader on Tuesday for the “positive outcome” of last week’s summit with Trump.
KCNA also reported that Xi said relations between China and North Korea had entered a new level of development since Kim’s first visit in March and that the agreements made between the two leaders were being carried out “one by one.”
Kim also told Xi he was willing to bolster bilateral friendship and cooperation, it said.
It was widely expected that Kim would visit Beijing to brief Xi on his summit with Trump, which included Pyongyang agreeing to hand over the remains of troops missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.
Two US officials told Reuters on Tuesday North Korea could start that process within the next few days.