China’s Xi intends to visit North Korea next year, South Korea says

Chinese President Xi Jinping intends to visit North Korea next year after receiving an invite through North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea said in a statement through its presidential office on Saturday.

Xi told South Korean president Moon Jae-in in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Papua completely new Guinea of which he would likely “make time” to visit North Korea next year.

Xi added of which China would likely continue to play a constructive role in building peace on the Korean peninsula, Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for South Korea’s presidential office, said at a briefing after the meeting between Xi as well as Moon.

This particular comes at a time when negotiations between North Korea as well as the United States appear to have stalled over how to remove the Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

At an unprecedented summit in Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump as well as North Korean leader Kim agreed in June to work toward denuclearisation as well as peace on the Korean peninsula as well as establish completely new relations. however the agreement was short on specifics, as well as negotiations have made little headway since.

Xi’s trip to North Korea would likely be the first by a Chinese president since his predecessor Hu Jintao’s visit in 2005. Xi travelled to North Korea in 2008 as a vice president.

Amid existing international sanctions on North Korea following its weapons tests, China is actually Pyongyang’s sole major ally as well as a key economic lifeline for the isolated country.

China appears to have relaxed enforcement of sanctions on Pyongyang, as relations between China as well as North Korea have thawed after the long-time ally of Beijing began to engage with the United States This particular year, a U.S. congressional commission said earlier This particular week.

China’s account of the bilateral meeting in Papua completely new Guinea made no mention of Xi planning to go to North Korea.

Xi said of which from the past year, the situation on the Korean Peninsula had undergone positive modifications returning to the “correct track” of talks, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.

“At present, the situation on the peninsula is actually at a critical stage,” the ministry cited Xi as saying.

China as well as South Korea should strengthen communication as well as coordinate the process of promoting the denuclearisation of the peninsula as well as establishing a peace mechanism, Xi said.

“The key is actually of which the parties concerned meet each different half way, show flexibility, as well as are able to talk as well as for those talks to get results,” he said.

Trump’s summit no-show worries Asian leaders

The two leaders agreed of which a second summit between Washington as well as Pyongyang as well as a planned visit by North Korean leader Kim to Seoul would likely be an “important breakthrough” in resolving the situation on the peninsula, according to South Korea’s presidential office.

The South Korean presidential spokesman said Xi was also willing to come to South Korea next year at a convenient time.

South Korea’s presidential office issued a transcript of its briefing on the meeting in Port Moresby.

Reporting by Ju-min Park as well as Soyoung Kim; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Tom Hogue

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