Kim Jong-un expressed his “commitment to denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula and his willingness to hold a summit with US President Donald Trump during a historic visit by the North Korean leader to China, during which he met Chinese President Xi Jinping.
After hours of uncertainty surrounding the visit, the official Xinhua news agency said at dawn on Wednesday that Kim had visited Beijing, his first overseas stop, pointing out that he had met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The visit lasted from Sunday to Wednesday.
“There is no doubt that my first overseas visit should be to the Chinese capital,” Kim told the Chinese president at a banquet held by Jinping. “This is my solemn duty.”
Kim said he was ready to meet US President Donald Trump after months of threats of war between the two countries over North Korea’s nuclear program.
South Korean and US sources have announced the summit between Trump and Kim. Seoul said it could take place at the end of May, but it has not yet been determined where and when.
“The DPRK is ready to hold a dialogue with the United States and hold a summit between the two countries,” Kim was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
A strong Pyongyang man who in recent years has conducted a series of nuclear tests and launches missiles capable of reaching the United States has also talked about making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free.
“Our firm position is to commit to the denuclearization of the peninsula in line with the wishes of the late President Kim Il Sung and the late Secretary-General Kim Jong Il,” Kim was quoted as saying by Xinhua, referring to his grandfather and father.
“The issue of nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula can be solved if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts in good faith and create an atmosphere of peace and stability with gradualand simultaneous measures to achieve peace,” he said.
– “Successful Talks” The
official Chinese television ” CCTV ” broadcast pictures of Kim and Shei shaking hands before their countries’ knowledge, in the presence of their wives.
Kim was received at the People’s Palace for talks followed by a banquet, Xinhua said, noting that the visit was “informal”.
Japanese media have disclosed the visit since Monday and said a senior North Korean official arrived in Beijing by train, but could not confirm that the official was Kim Jong-un himself.
The Chinese media declined to confirm the visit and apparently waited for Kim to return home.
“I have had successful talks with Xi Jinping on developing relations between the two parties and the two countries, the internal situation of our two countries, maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and other issues,” Kim said at the banquet.
Xi praised the friendship between the two countries, saying that “it is a strategic choice and a good choicemade by both countries on the basis of history and reality.”
The North Korean news agency reported that Shi had accepted an invitation to visit Pyongyang.
China’s diplomacy is back on track, after it appeared marginalized after the earlier announcement of a Kim-Trump summit.
The North Korean leader has not met the Chinese president since he left his father Kim Jong Il six years ago.
Bilateral relations between China and North Korea have been strained in recent years because of Beijing’s growing support for UN economic sanctions aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Before his meeting with Trump, Kim Jong-un will meet South Korean President Moon Jay-en in late April in the inter-Korean demilitarized zone.