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NK leader meets China's foreign minister over ties, inter-Korean issues

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has held "wide-ranging and in-depth" talks with China's foreign minister over the two nations' ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, state media in the North said Friday.

Kim's meeting with Wang Yi on Wednesday followed the historic summit held by President Moon Jae-in and Kim last week, at which they reaffirmed the goal of "complete" denuclearization of the peninsula. Kim is also set to meet with US President Donald Trump as early as May.

Kim and Wang exchanged opinions on ways to develop the two nations' traditionally friendly and cooperative relations and issues of "mutual concern including the direction and prospect of the development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

It said that they reconfirmed the North and China's stance on "important issues," without disclosing details.

China's foreign ministry said that Wang delivered China's support for the two Koreas' move to end the war and efforts to turn an armistice into a peace regime.

Kim told Wang that achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula is the North's resolute determination and expressed the hope for a dialogue on peace.

The top Chinese diplomat arrived in the North on Wednesday for a two-day trip. 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 the Kim-Trump summit.

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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