Kim Jong-un leaves China with 'backing for second Trump summit' | 2019-01-10 |

Kim Jong-un leaves China with 'backing for second Trump summit'


10th January, 2019 08:46:01 printer

Kim Jong-un leaves China with 'backing for second Trump summit'


After his surprise visit to China, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un left with backing for a possible second summit with US President Donald Trump, state media said.


Mr Trump and Mr Kim first met last June, but progress over denuclearisation has since stalled.


Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hoped the two leaders "meet each other halfway", Xinhua news agency reported


China is the North's main ally and key trade partner.


Mr Xi said China supported North Korea and the US "holding summits and achieving results, and supports relevant parties resolving their respective legitimate concerns through dialogue".


He also said China would be ready to play a "positive and constructive role" towards maintaining peace and achieving denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, reported Xinhua.


'Concern' over denuclearization


North Korean's official KCNA agency similarly echoed that China supported the North's position.


"Xi Jinping said that the legitimate issues raised by the DPRK are rightful demands and that he fully agrees that the DPRK's reasonable interests should be justly resolved," it said, using the official country name the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.


The report said Mr Kim expressed "concern" over the lack of progress towards denuclearisation but that Pyongyang's "basic position of pursuing a peaceful resolution through dialogue remains unchanged".


Mr Kim had said in his annual new year's speech in January that he remained committed to denuclearisation, but warned that he would change course if US sanctions remained.



Mr Kim made what is believe to be his first official trip outside North Korea to China last year, even before meeting South Korea's President Moon and Mr Trump. The recent visit is Mr Kim's fourth to China in less than a year.


Diplomatic progress between Mr Trump and Mr Kim has stalled since the historic Singapore summit in June.


Both parties signed a pledge at the time to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, though it was not clear what this would entail.