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Xi's envoy briefs Seoul on NK-China summit

South Korea’s National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong met Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi in Seoul on Thursday. Yang arrived Thursday and was scheduled to meet President Moon Jae-in on Friday.

Chung and Yang, accompanied by high-ranking diplomatic and trade officials from the two sides, met at a hotel in central Seoul to discuss a range of bilateral issues and those concerning North Korea. 

National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong (left) and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi pose ahead of their meeting in Seoul on Thursday. Yonhap
National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong (left) and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi pose ahead of their meeting in Seoul on Thursday. Yonhap

“I hope to hear the results of the China-North Korea summit, and to discuss ways to cooperate in achieving the shared goal of denuclearization and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Chung said.

Chung also said that the two sides should build on the agreement to normalize relations.

As for Yang, he said that the Xi’s meeting with Kim will contribute to resolving issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

Ahead of Yang’s visit, Cheong Wa Dae said that China would brief Seoul on the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

At their meeting, Xi and Kim reiterated their intentions regarding denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, with the latter once again claiming it as a goal passed down from his grandfather and father.

However, Kim said he expects Seoul and the US to take steps corresponding to the efforts made by his regime, referring to Pyongyang’s offer to hold summit meetings and halt missile and nuclear tests while talks are underway. Kim is set to meet Moon at the end of April, and a US-North Korea summit is slated for sometime in May.

Beijing has also informed Washington of the meeting, with Xi sending US President Donald Trump a personal message.

Trump later tweeted that the message informed him that the Xi-Kim meeting “went very well and that Kim looks forward to his meeting with me.”

The US leader went on to say that Washington would not make any compromises in dealing with North Korea for the time being.

“In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!” Trump wrote.

Trump did, however, say that he considers denuclearization a possibility, saying “Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity” in another Twitter message.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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