Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Donald Trump calls Xi Jinping for trade result that 'benefits American businesses'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left and South Korean President Moon Jae-in raise their hands after signing on a joint statement at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone South Korea Friday Korea Summit Press Pool via AP
Charlie Simmons | 09 May, 2018, 00:47

While top leaders of China, South Korea and Japan prepared to meet over a triangular summit in Tokyo on Wednesday, May 9, reports said a high-ranking official from North Korea might have met Chinese President Xi Jinping in China's port city of Dalian (located around 530 kilometres from Pyongyang) on Tuesday, May 8, amid tight security, Associated Press reported.

A Trump-Kim meeting seemed a remote possibility just a few months ago when the two leaders were trading threats and insults over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests.

"Xi Jinping reiterated China's position on the Korean Peninsula issue and emphasised that China supports the USA and [North Korea] leaders' meetings", according to the state-owned China News Service.

China has been keen to show it has an indispensable role in seeking a lasting solution to tension over North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons, concerned that its interests may be ignored, especially as North Korea and the United States establish contacts.

The meeting between Xi and Kim comes as the North Korean leader prepares to hold a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

"I will be speaking to my friend, President Xi of China", he tweeted.

The Chinese foreign ministry would not confirm or deny that a North Korean official had visited the country. Pyongyang claims Kim himself is the driver of the current situation and the spokesman said the USA should not to interpret Pyongyang's willingness to talk as a sign of weakness.

After the summit, South Korea also agreed to remove dozens propaganda-broadcasting loudspeakers from the border with North Korea this week. The meeting occurred before Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state had been confirmed.

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Although there were no guarantees that the American prisoners would be freed during Pompeo's visit, U.S. officials said their release would be a significant goodwill gesture ahead of the Trump-Kim summit that is expected later this month or in early June.

The denuclearization game on the Korean Peninsula is like treading on thin ice.

But Mr. Moon, who as South Korea's leader has pushed for engagement with Pyongyang, urged Japan to consider normalizing ties with North Korea.

Shortly after the news of Kim-Xi summit in Dalian, Trump said he would speak with Xi on North Korea.

"At a crucial time when the regional situation is developing rapidly, Kim said he came to China again to meet with (Xi) and inform him of the situation", Xinhua said.

Kim made a secret visit to China in an armoured train in March end in his first-ever foreign trip since taking over as North Korea's leader in December 2011.

Posts about unusual traffic jams and security in Dalian popped up on Chinese social media.

For his part, Kim said both the DPRK-China friendship and the Korean Peninsula situation have undergone meaningful progress since his visit to Beijing in March this year. Kim visited China for a second time on Monday.

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