NATIONAL

Xi expected to demonstrate strong alliance with N. Korea on last day of state visit

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jun 21, 2019 - 14:12
  • Updated : Jun 21, 2019 - 14:12

Chinese President Xi Jinping was to pay a visit Friday to a monument in Pyongyang symbolizing the friendship between the two countries on the second and last day of a state visit to the neighboring ally.

After a visit to the Friendship Tower commemorating China's participation in the Korean War in support of the North, Xi is expected to have a lunch meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un before heading home later in the day.

The two leaders held summit talks on Thursday, at which Xi said China will help address North Korea's security concerns and Kim said he will exercise patience in efforts to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, according to Chinese state media.


(Yonhap)

Xi arrived in Pyongyang earlier Thursday, marking the first time a Chinese head of state has visited the Korea in 14 years.

Thursday's summit was the fifth between the two leaders since last year. They last met in January when Kim visited Beijing.

Late Thursday, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, along with Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, also attended a group gymnastics performance at Pyongyang's May Day Stadium featuring the strong bilateral ties between China and North Korea, according to Chinese media reports.

During Thursday's summit, Xi voiced support for the "political" resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue and pledged to play a "positive" and "constructive" role in realizing the denuclearization of the peninsula, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"China, Xi said, is willing to provide assistance within its capacity for the DPRK to address its legitimate security and development concerns ... and play a positive and constructive role in achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and long-term stability in the region," Xinhua said. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim said that the North will "stay patient" despite the lack of a positive response to Pyongyang's active efforts to ease tensions and expressed hope that the "relevant party" will work with North Korea to "seek solutions that accommodate each other's legitimate concerns and push for results from the dialogue process," according to Xinhua.

Kim's remarks are seen as an expression of willingness to continue nuclear talks with the US.

The summit came amid the drawn-out stalemate in denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington following the February summit that ended without a deal.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons program.

The North's state media reported on the Kim-Xi summit, saying that it will be in the interest of the two countries to advance their bilateral relations in the face of "serious" and "complicated" international affairs.

The timing of Xi's trip to Pyongyang appears to be well coordinated both for Beijing and Pyongyang.

Experts say that China is trying to use its clout over North Korea as a diplomatic card in its intensifying rivalry with Washington ahead of Xi's meeting with Trump during next week's Group of 20 meeting of global leaders in Japan.

They say that North Korean leader Kim might also use the visit as a chance to draw support and cooperation from his strongest ally before moving toward further nuclear talks with the US, while also strengthening his internal power base. (Yonhap)