North Korean leader tours industrial site in China

North Korean leader tours industrial site in China

North Korean leader tours industrial site in China

Moon acknowledged that the agreement North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump signed at their first summit in Singapore was "somewhat vague". Mr Kim has been visiting Beijing this week to project an image of a strong Pyongyang-Beijing alliance in advance of a second potential summit. For Xi, whose country provides a lifeline to North Korea's anemic economy, the meeting with Kim reminds Trump that China's co-operation will make any nuclear deal more effective.

"In a word, Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to China is an indication that the second North Korea-U.S. summit is drawing near", Moon said.

Xi Jinping said that "the legitimate issues raised by the DPRK are rightful demands and that he fully agrees that the DPRK's reasonable interests should be justly resolved". But others say Moon simply made a symbolic, conciliatory gesture toward North Korea. It comes after US and North Korean officials are thought to have met in Vietnam to discuss the site of the summit.

He also credited Chinese President Xi Jinping with helping reduce regional tensions, saying "the Korean Peninsula situation has been easing since previous year, and China's important role in this process is obvious to all". North Korea's trade with China has been significantly reduced in 2018 compared to the year before.

Kim spent around half an hour touring a pharmaceutical factory operated by Tong Ren Tang, the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicinal products.

Kim's Beijing visit was seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of United Nations sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.

Many observers, including the China's nationalistic newspaper Global Times, felt the timing of Kim's trip, on Xi's invitation, was intentional.

North Korea wants relief from the multiple sets of sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, while the United States wants the measures to remain in place until it gives up its arms - something Pyongyang has made no public promise to do.

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Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung was also adept at playing off Communist rivals Beijing and Moscow against each other during the Cold War to extract concessions from both.

As VOA's Bill Gallo reports, the North Korean leader may be hoping to use the visit to increase his leverage with Washington.

The North Korean leader arrived in his armoured train on Tuesday, which is believed to have been his 35th birthday. "To ensure peace and security, we will facilitate denuclearization and play a constructive role in maintaining long-term peace in the region", Xi said.

We can safely assume that Kim Jong-un has known all along that America wouldn't be abandoning their own nuclear weapons arsenal or unilaterally pulling all of our troops out of South Korea.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has refrained from commenting on the meeting, which comes as a second summit between Kim and Trump is materializing. -China negotiations were extended another day to Wednesday.

Recently, China may be doing more of the latter, says James Kim, pointing to ongoing rumours of "de facto loosening of sanctions implementation in China".

It is not clear when or where a possible second Kim-Trump summit would take place, though South Korean president Moon Jae-in has said it will happen "soon".

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