China: The not-so invisible hand in US-North Korea talks

11 January, 2019, 06:12 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Xi Fetes Kim Jong-un with Lavish Birthday Banquet

Going on to say that China has played a positive role in issues related to denuclearization and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula, Moon said that Kim's trip will have a "very positive effect on the success" of the North Korean leader's second meeting with US President Donald Trump.

And speaking about a possible second meeting between Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump, . the South Korean leader said it may be imminent - following Kim's surprise trip to Beijing this week to meet President Xi Jinping.

"The second North Korea-U.S. summit, soon to take place, and a reciprocal visit to Seoul by Chairman Kim Jong-un could be turning points in securing peace on the Korean Peninsula".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jong (red-dotted) wave aboard a train to Beijing on Monday.

In a later press conference at the presidential Blue House, Mr Moon clarified that Kim's Beijing visit had been a "sign" that a follow-up to his first summit with Mr Trump in Singapore in June was on the way.

Pyongyang has demanded Washington lift sanctions, imposed because of its nuclear and missile tests, and declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

"The path toward peace on the Korean Peninsula still continues to expand even at this moment, and it will speed up even more this year".

Nonetheless a commentary carried by KCNA last month stressed that when Pyongyang refers to "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", it includes the North, the South, and "surrounding areas from where the Korean peninsula is targeted". "China hopes that the DPRK and the United States will meet each other halfway".

At Tuesday's daily Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing remains supportive of efforts to end tensions over US demands for a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Kim's visit comes only a week after his New Year's address in which he stressed the need to improve health care in North Korea, saying: "We must modernize pharmaceutical and medical equipment factories, upgrading medical institutions and raising the level of medical service... so that all people may realize the superiority of the socialist public health care system".

China, which wouldn't want to be left out in the cold in any settlement, has worked to improve relations with its neighbour, which deteriorated after Beijing backed United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

Later Tuesday, Xi gave a grand banquet for Kim, his wife Ri Sol Ju and other visiting North Korean officials.

Kim "raised concern" about the impasse in talks with the United States, according to Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency, which said the Chinese leader had issued a ringing endorsement of the North's position.

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.

Those demands were in response to Pyongyang's initial, unilateral steps toward denuclearisation that included dismantling its only known nuclear testing site and a key missile engine facility.

Tuesday was Mr. Kim's birthday.

All sides should "jointly push for a comprehensive resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue", he said.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency says it will take 14 hours for the train to reach the city of Dandong at the North Korean border.

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