North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China for the second time in two months ahead of an expected summit with US President Donald Trump, less than a month after Pyongyang declared that it would suspend its nuclear and missile tests and dismantle a nuclear test site.
China’s Xinhua state news agency announced the news on Tuesday, saying that the two leaders met on Monday and Tuesday in the coastal city of Dalian. They had “an all-round and in-depth exchange of views” on bilateral ties and “major issues of common concern,” the report said.
Kim visited China in late March, his first ever trip out of North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), since coming into power in 2011.
“So long as relevant parties eliminate hostile policies and security threats toward North Korea, North Korea has no need for nuclear (capacity), and denuclearization can be realized,” Xinhua quoted Kim as saying in the meeting.
Referring to his first meeting with the Chinese leader, Kim added, “These are the positive outcomes of the historic meeting between me and Comrade General Secretary (Xi).”
The North’s leader also said that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was Pyongyang’s “constant and clear position,” and that negotiations between North Korea and the United States could also build mutual trust.
For his part, Xi was quoted as saying that “China supports North Korea’s upholding of denuclearization on the peninsula, and supports North Korea and the US resolving the peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation.”
The Chinese leader also said that both Pyongyang-Beijing relations and the situation on the peninsula had made “positive progress.”
“I feel happy about it,” Xi added.
The visit highlights efforts by the Cold War-era allies to improve ties that had chilled as Beijing, Pyongyang’s most important ally, has supported the UN sanctions over the North’s controversial nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The meeting, part of a flurry of diplomatic engagement that has significantly eased tension on the volatile peninsula, also followed Kim’s recent landmark summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.