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Kim Jong-un meets Xi Jinping in Beijing for third time in 3 months

Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed his strong support for North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization and assured to keep playing a constructive role in the process of stabilizing situation in the Korean peninsula.

South Korean official news agency Yonhap reports on Wednesday that during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday expressed gratitude for Beijing’s support for his summit with U.S. president Donald Trump and vowed to further consolidate bilateral ties with China.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for a two day sojourn on his third visit within three months. North Korean official news agency KCNA provided an extensive report on the summit on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday Chinese official Xinhua news agency reported that the two leaders had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the current development of China-DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North Korea) relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The report further said, “They agreed to safeguard, consolidate and develop China-North Korea relations, and jointly push forward the sound momentum of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula to make a positive contribution to safeguarding world and regional peace, stability, prosperity and development”.

While briefing journalists China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told in Beijing on Tuesday, “We hope the visit would further deepen China-DPRK ties, strengthen bilateral strategic negotiations on key issues and promote regional peace and stability.”

China Assures Key Role in North Korea’s DenuclearizationZhang Huizhi, vice dean of the Northeast Asian Studies College at Jilin University, reportedly told Beijing based Global Times on Tuesday, “Kim discussed details on implementing the agreement signed in Singapore as North Korea needs assistance on denuclearization and China is an indispensable part of a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula.”

The two leaders met a week after Kim’s historic summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12, in which North Korea had reportedly affirmed its commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to build “new” bilateral relations.

Read More: Kim arrives in Beijing to brief Xi Jinping on Trump summit

KCNA reports, “Xi expressed strong support for our stance and determination for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, saying that China will continue to play a constructive role. The talks were held in a cordial, open-minded and friendly mood.”

It further said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that his country will closely cooperate with China “in the process of opening a new future on the Korean Peninsula and in the region” and do his best to protect a “genuine peace” going forward.

The two leaders “exchanged views on issues of mutual concern, including the prospects for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and reached consensus on those discussed issues”, KCNA added.

Observers believe that Kim’s visit to China is seen as an apparent bid to strengthen bilateral ties with China ahead of the North’s high-level talks with the U.S. to discuss details on how to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs. The high level meetings are meant to find ways to implement the commitments given by the two leaders.

Read More: West meets the East in historic summit in Singapore

China also seems to be working hard not to be marginalized in the fast-paced nuclear diplomacy on Korean Peninsula by bringing North closer to its side after years of chilled relations over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests.

In March this year Kim travelled to China and met President Xi Jinping in his first foreign visit since he came to power in 2011. Kim again visited Beijing in May prior of his summit with Trump.

The KCNA provided detailed coverage of Kim’s trip to Beijing on Wednesday. Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese media showed footage of Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, greeting Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, at the Great Hall of the People, and Kim inspected a Chinese guard of honour. Details of Kim’s engagements in Beijing on Wednesday were not provided to the media. This was in clear departure from earlier practice of announcing details of two leaders’ meet much later.

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