Kim and Xi discuss closer cooperation, denuclearisation

Photo: Photo: EPA North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping ®.

Kim Jong-un ended last Wednesday his third visit to China this year, a week after the historic summit in Singapore where he and Trump signed a joint declaration pursuing complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Amid lingering questions over Pyongyang's real willingness to denuclearise and an escalating trade war between the US and China, Kim's two-day trip was intended to reinforce the idea that Beijing remains a key player and main ally of his country.

Kim Jong-un ended last Wednesday his third visit to China this year, a week after the historic summit in Singapore where he and Trump signed a joint declaration pursuing complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Amid lingering questions over Pyongyang's real willingness to denuclearise and an escalating trade war between the US and China, Kim's two-day trip was intended to reinforce the idea that Beijing remains a key player and main ally of his country. It was also an essential diplomatic move for Kim, who wants to receive economic incentives in exchange for halting his country's missile and nuclear weapons programmes.
During his meeting with Xi, Kim thanked China for “positive and sincere support and good help for the successful” summit with Trump and praised the “recently strengthened strategic cooperation” between Beijing and Pyongyang. The North Korean leader also vowed to secure “true peace” in the process of “opening a new future” on the Korean peninsula and declared North Korea's unstinting “friendship” with Beijing. For his part, the Chinese president voiced his strong support for North Korea's commitment to denuclearisation and promised to keep playing a “constructive role” in the nuclear diplomacy. He also praised Pyongyang for its recent achievements.
“We are happy to see that the DPRK made a major decision to shift the focus to economic construction, and the development of the DPRK's socialist cause has entered a new stage in history,” Xi told Kim, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.
Kim was diplomatically isolated for years before making his first foreign trip as leader in March to meet with Xi in Beijing, where he arrived in an armoured train. He also met the Chinese president two months later, in May, in the northern port city of Dalian.

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