The Korea Herald


Leaders of NK, China talk improvement of strategic ties: KCNA

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : March 28, 2018 - 15:55

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Announcing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s surprise summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, the North’s Korea Central News Agency reported Wednesday that key issues, such as the improvement of strategic ties between the two nations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, were discussed.

“The two great leaders of (North Korea) and China and respective parties exchanged in-depth opinions on important issues including the development of ties between China and North Korea and management of the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula,” the North’s state-run KCNA said.

Kim also highlighted the importance of fostering relations with “Chinese comrades,” while bolstering strategic communication and cooperation between the two neighboring nations, according to the KCNA. Xi also “willingly agreed” to Kim’s proposal to visit North Korea at a “convenient time.” 

From left: Ri Sol-ju, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan (Yonhap) From left: Ri Sol-ju, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan (Yonhap)

Regarding Kim’s remark on improving “strategic communication and cooperation” between the two countries, experts are interpreting it as China’s agreement to support North Korea’s plans in approaching the issue of “denuclearization” through a “progressive measure.”

According to China’s Xinhua News Agency, Kim told Xi that “the issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the US … create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace.”

“The US wants ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea,’ but such an announcement from China and North Korea means they both want a more progressive approach toward the issue,” said Chung Sung-jang, director of unification strategy studies at the Sejong Institute.

Several news outlets reported earlier this week, that a “special train” that may be carrying Kim had arrived in Beijing. Xinhua confirmed the reports Wednesday saying that Kim had “paid an unofficial visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday” at the invitation of Xi. Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju accompanied him on the trip.

Kim’s visit came ahead of a planned inter-Korean summit in April and a possible US-North Korea summit in May.

By Jung Min-kyung (