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Kim Jong-un meets Xi, proposes to de-nuke the Korean peninsula

In a surprise visit Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, met with President Xi Jinping of China on a surprise visit to Beijing, and said that he is willing to give up his nuclear weapons and hold a summit with the US.

“The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace,” Kim said during the four-day visit, according to Xinhua.

Xi said that China continues to push for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and made four proposals to improve relations with North Korea, including maintaining frequent contact with Kim. Xi said China will continue to share friendship with North Korea as a “strategic choice” that “will not change because of any single event at a particular time.”

“We speak highly of this visit,” Xi told Kim, according the Xinhua story that repeatedly referred to the two leaders as comrades.

“We are willing to work together with DPRK comrades, remain true to our original aspiration and jointly move forward, to promote long-term healthy and stable development of China-DPRK relations, benefit the two countries and two peoples, and make new contribution to regional peace, stability and development,” Xi said.

The visit comes amid a diplomatic flurry in Asia as leaders jockey for face time with Kim and seek to defuse tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Here are the highlights of Kim Jong-un’s first visit to China

1) Kim visits Xi Jinping to congratulate him on re-election: Kim said a series of major and happy events had taken place consecutively in China recently and referred Xi’s re-election for the second term. Kim said it was his obligation to come congratulate Xi in person, in line with the DPRK-China friendly tradition, the report said.

2) Xi Jinping speaks highly of Kim Jong-un’s visit: Chinese President Xi Jinping has held talks with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Beijing during the trip, which reportedly took place from March 25 to 28.

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcoming banquet for Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju, reported China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.

“We speak highly of this visit,” Xi said.

3) Traditional China-DPRK friendship should be developed further: Xi underscored the China-DPRK friendship, saying, “This is a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-DPRK ties. This should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time.”

Key points

Xi hosted a grand banquet for Kim at the Great Hall of the People, where Kim reiterated his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4) China is a traditional ally and major trading partner for North Korea: The China-North Korean relations went through some testing times since Kim took over as the supreme leader of the country as he pressed ahead with his nuclear programme disregarding caution from Beijing.

Relations between the two countries have been strained after Beijing beefed up UN sanctions by blocking essential supplies like oil and coal following pressure from Trump.

5) Xi Jinping made 4 proposals to Kim Jong-un for China-DPRK relations: i. Continuation of high-level exchange, including close communication between him and Kim ii. Make full play of strategic communication iii. Cement the popular will foundation for China-DPRK friendship enhancing people to people contacts iv.

6) Preparations on for Trump-Kim summit, says White House: The United States continues to move forward on the proposed summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the White House has said. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders recently told reporters that preparations were on for the summit, which has been accepted by Trump at the request of Pyongyang. “We are continuing to move forward. The offer was extended and accepted, and were continuing to move forward in that process. We still don’t have a set time or date on that front,” Sanders said in response to a question.

7) China earlier kept mum on North Korea’s Kim Jong-un visit to Beijing: “I am not aware of any information at present. If we have some information, we will release it in due course,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press conference.

Although Hua did not confirm if North Korean leader had made his first visit to China since assuming power six years ago, he did say the two countries were “traditional friends” and still had “normal exchanges” despite recent sanctions by Beijing on Pyongyang in line with several resolutions of the UN Security Council, reports Efe news agency.

8) Like father, like son: The presence of Kim Jong-un was along the lines of the trips to Beijing by his father, Kim Jong-il, who used to come in a special train, amid heavy security deployments at key points in the Chinese capital, and complete silence by the authorities of both countries until the North Korean leader had returned to his country.

9) The train journey: Japanese media reports said a special North Korean train arrived in Beijing under unusually heavy security, suggesting a senior delegation might have been aboard.

The reports sparked speculation that leader Kim Jong Un might have been aboard the train. Heavy security was reported at the Friendship Bridge before the train passed from North Korea to China, and there were reports of it passing through several stations on the way from North Korea to Beijing.

The NTV network said the green and yellow train appears very similar to the one that former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s late father, took to Beijing in 2011 and has 21 cars.

A video that aired on NTV also showed a motorcade of black limousines waiting at the train station and rows of Chinese soldiers marching on what appeared to be a train platform. The video did not show anyone getting off the train.

10) Kim Jong’s visit to South Korea, US: Kim is expected to have a summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April and with US President Donald Trump by May. “If South Korea and the United States respond with good will to our efforts and create an atmosphere of peace and stability, and take phased, synchronized measures to achieve peace, the issue of the denuclearization of the peninsula can reach resolution,” Kim said.

Source: Business Standard


Cochin Herald

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