Abe Hints at Potential Summit With North Korea's Kim Jong Un

Hugh Fox
January 11, 2019

The site that Mr Kim and Mr Trump will pick for the next meeting has been attracting keen attention, especially after South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that the summit will take place soon.

Mr Moon was talking after Kim travelled to Bijing to meet Chinese supremo Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, in Beijing, during which he was reported to have renewed his pledge to denuclearise. The North said in its report that Xi accepted an invitation to visit North Korea, although details of when he might come were not given.

Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June for the first-ever leaders' meeting between their nations, but there has been a standoff ever since, with dueling accusations of bad faith. Kim also said in the speech that there is a need to promote "multi-party negotiations" in bringing about a peace mechanism to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice agreement.

Xi re-asserted China's importance in the diplomatic process surrounding the Korean peninsula, Xinhua said, quoting him as saying that Beijing stands ready to "play a positive and constructive role in maintaining peace and stability and realizing denuclearization on the peninsula and lasting peace and stability in the region".

Moon's overture, however, has invited criticism from conservatives in South Korea and the United States that he's making too many concessions and helping the North weaken USA -led sanctions.

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Nonetheless a commentary carried by KCNA last month stressed that when Pyongyang refers to "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", it includes the North, the South, and "surrounding areas from where the Korean peninsula is targeted".

Mr Xi said China supported North Korea and the USA "holding summits and achieving results, and supports relevant parties resolving their respective legitimate concerns through dialogue".

North Korea wants relief from the multiple sets of sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, while the USA wants them to remain in place until it gives up its arms - something Pyongyang has made no public promise to do.

Conditions for resuming two key economic projects between North and South Korea - the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where Southern companies used to employ North Korean workers, and Southern tourism to Mount Kumgang in the North "have essentially been met already", he said.

North Korea has not conducted any test launches or detonations in more than a year but has shown little intention of abandoning the nuclear programmes. Xi Jinping on Tuesday held talks with Kim Jong Un, who arrived in Beijing on the same day for a visit to China.

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South Korea's Yonhap, without identifying its sources, said the two leaders held talks for an hour in which they discussed the second US-North Korea summit and strengthening bilateral ties.

The massive plant is owned by Tong Ren Tang (同仁堂), the world's top producer of traditional Chinese medicines with a history that dates back more than three centuries. Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the news agency said.

North Korea argues that the U.S. needs to match the steps it has taken towards denuclearisation, namely dismantling a nuclear testing site and a key missile engine facility.

President Xi said: "China is willing to work with..."

"China has been an important force in promoting the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and peace and stability on the peninsula", said Lu.

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Meanwhile, Cheong Wa Dae said it hopes Kim's visit to China "lays the groundwork" for a second U.S.

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