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Chinese foreign minister meets N.K.'s leader: report

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Reuters reported Thursday, citing a statement by Beijing's foreign ministry, as the two countries seek to mend their ties.
   
The report noted the Chinese top diplomat's meeting with the North's leader during his stay in Pyongyang without disclosing details.
   
Wang earlier met with North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on Wednesday to discuss ways to improve the two countries' ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the North's state media said.
 
His visit came as President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a historic summit last Friday, reaffirming the goal of "complete" denuclearization of the peninsula.
   

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Ri and Wang on Wednesday had an "in-depth" discussion on the issues of developing North Korea-China "friendly and cooperative" relations following a summit in Beijing between the leaders of the two nations in late March.
  
"They also candidly exchanged their opinions on the matters of mutual concern, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula," the report said.
   
It is the first visit to North Korea by a Chinese foreign minister in 11 years.
   
The North's long frozen relations with China have begun to thaw following Kim Jong-un's surprise visit to Beijing in March ahead of his summits with South Korea and the United States.
   
China, North Korea's only remaining ally and economic lifeline, had seen its ties with the North strained due to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations.
   
Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to visit North Korea after Kim holds a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump probably this month.
   
Trump said in late April that he will meet with the North's leader in three to four weeks to discuss the denuclearization of the regime.
   
A joint declaration issued after last week's inter-Korean summit said the two Koreas agreed to seek trilateral meetings involving them and the United States or four-way talks also joined by China to discuss a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
   
China has complained about the possibility of being left behind in the peacemaking process on the peninsula.

Beijing's active engagement with the North is seen as an attempt to raise its voice over the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, experts say. (Yonhap)

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