KONFRONTASI-North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited China this week and met President Xi Jinping, the state media of both countries said on Tuesday, their second encounter in two months amid warming ties between the Cold War allies.
Their talks in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian comes as tension on the Korean peninsula over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons eases ahead of what would be a historic meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, as soon as this month, according to the White House.
China has been keen to show it has an indispensable role to play in seeking a lasting solution to tension over North Korea, concerned that its interests may be ignored, especially as North Korea and the United States establish contacts.
Kim, during his visit on Monday and Tuesday, told Xi he hoped relevant parties would take “phased” and “synchronized” measures to realize denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.
“So long as relevant parties eliminate hostile policies and security threats toward North Korea, North Korea has no need for nuclear (capacity), and denuclearisation can be realized,” China’s official Xinhua news agency cited Kim as saying.
Kim told Xi that the denuclearisation of the peninsula was North Korea’s “constant and clear position”, and that dialogue between North Korea and the United States could build mutual trust.
Chinese state media showed pictures of Kim smiling in an outdoors meeting with Xi, and the two leaders strolling along a waterfront.
Xi hosted a banquet and told Kim of his backing of North Korea’s “strategic shift towards economic development”, Xinhua added.
“China supports North Korea’s upholding of denuclearisation on the peninsula, and supports North Korea and the United States resolving the peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation,” Xi said.
North Korean state media said Kim was “very pleased” that the relationship with China was reaching a high point, and North Korea would cooperate with China more actively as the situation on the Korean peninsula changed.
The visit, part of a flurry of diplomatic engagement that has dramatically eased tension, follows Kim’s recent historic summit with South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in.
It also followed Kim’s dramatic train journey to Beijing in March, his first known trip abroad since assuming power in 2011.