By Prarthana Mitra
North Korean president Kim Jong-un visited his Chinese counterpart and economic ally Xi Jingping earlier this week. Government spokespersons from both countries confirmed the news of their visit on Wednesday.
This visit marks Kim’s first confirmed trip outside North Korea since he came to power in 2011. Both the countries have very strong bilateral trade relations.
Kim is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April, and US President Donald Trump in May.
Points of discussion
Kim who arrived in Beijing on Sunday, assured the Chinese Premier that he was serious about nuclear disarmament of the Korean peninsula, according to reports from Xinhua news agency.
“The issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace,” Kim has been reported saying.
Will this meet speed up peace talks or derail it completely?
Relations between the two nations have always been strong, however, have been affected due to China’s decision to back the United States about increasing sanctions due to the growing threat of the North Korean nuclear arsenal.
North Korea’s KCNA news agency called this a “milestone” visit in improving ties between the two nations, reporting that Xi had also accepted an invitation to return the visit.
“It makes sense for North Korea to explain their positions and coordinate with China, their most important partner,” said Andray Abrahamian, research fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS, in an interview with the BBC.
United States President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he received a message from the Chinese President stating that his meeting with Kim went “very well.”
Received message last night from XI JINPING of China that his meeting with KIM JONG UN went very well and that KIM looks forward to his meeting with me. In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
“For years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was not even a small possibility,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity.”
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius