Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Korea's Kim, China's Xi hold 2nd summit ahead of Trump summit

Korea's Kim, China's Xi hold 2nd summit ahead of Trump summit

Chinese President Xi Jiping with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un during an unofficial visit to China in March.

Top-level officials from both North Korea and China attended the summit, including Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong and Wang Huning, a member of China's powerful seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, according to Chinese state media.

Ramped-up security in the northeastern Chinese port city of Dalian since Monday has sparked speculation about a visit by a high-ranking North Korean official, with Kyodo News confirming airport operations remain limited and traffic restricted.

After news of the meeting between the two leaders was released, Trump announced that he would be speaking to "my friend" Xi on Tuesday.

According to North Korean state media, Kim said he is "very pleased" with how the relationship between North Korea and China is progressing, Reuters reported Tuesday.

It was reported Monday that Trump and Kim will likely meet in Singapore in June to discuss the denuclearization of North Korea.

US officials say Pompeo will also press North Korea for the release of three detained American citizens, whose imminent release Trump has been hinting at.

China has been making all sorts of engagements with North Korea and its neighbours to ensure that it doesn't lose out to the US-backed peace initiative in the Korean Peninsula in which Washington's ally South Korean has also played a big role. "We will think it will be a great success". DPRK is an acronym for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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Intense secrecy typically surrounds high-level North Korean visits to China, and this week's trip was no different. It said although the US has stressed time again on the direct talks between US President Donald Trump and Kim yet its unpredictability makes it necessary to be prepared for the worst scenario.

It said as a mid-term benefit, China will serve as an "indispensable facilitator for a political and peaceful resolution of the peninsula issue".

The meeting between Xi and Kim comes as the North Korean leader prepares to hold a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. In addition, 65 percent of South Koreans trust Kim Jong-un on his pledge to denuclearize, and Moon Jae-in's approval ratings have shot up to 86 percent.

Previous agreements over North Korea's nuclear program - including the 1994 Agreed Framework and the 2005 Joint Statement from the Six Party Talks - also called for phased, incremental steps for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program alongside sanctions relief and normalization of relations with the United States.

For his part, Kim could be trying to improve ties with Xi - which have been frosty, to put it mildly - in case his outreach to Trump falls flat, analysts say.

When 88 percent of the subject of a news story think something is good, and 95 percent of United States media say that thing is bad, one should ask why that is.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper cited two unidentified sources as saying that Mr Xi had flown to Dalian on the coast east of Beijing to preside over the official launch of sea trials for China's first entirely self-built aircraft carrier.

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