China's Xi, North Korea's Kim meet ahead of Trump summit

May 09, 2018, 01:18
China's Xi, North Korea's Kim meet ahead of Trump summit

Trump and Xi discussed developments on the Korean peninsula and Kim's visit to China during a phone call on Tuesday morning, the White House said.

President Donald Trump offered his latest teaser Friday for a historic USA summit with North Korea: The time and place have been set but he's not saying when and where.

"So long as relevant parties eliminate hostile policies and security threats toward North Korea, North Korea has no need for nuclear (capacity), and denuclearisation can be realised", China's official Xinhua news agency cited Kim as saying.

The Chinese President is reportedly planning a trip to the North Korean capital Pyongyang, an official told CNN in April, but no date has been announced as yet. Kim's two-day visit included a welcome banquet, luncheon, and even a stroll on the beach with Xi.

Li and Moon will be visiting Japan for the first time since their inaugurations.

There are no regular commercial flights between Dalian and North Korea and the airport was closed to other aircraft while the plane departed, NHK reported.

As the inter-Korean relationship has warmed and Trump has shown a willingness to meet with Kim - he would be the first American president to meet a North Korean leader - Xi appears to be making sure that he is not left out of the diplomatic process.

"At this very moment, Secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un", Trump said.

"The president has a great relationship with President Xi and we are working on something we think will be great for everybody", Sanders said in Washington.

While Kim would be giving up the last of his remaining American prisoners, whom North Korea has often used in the past as bargaining chips with the United States, a release could also be aimed at pressuring Trump to make concessions of his own in his bid to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear arsenal, something it has not signalled a willingness to do.

News of a second meeting between the two leaders so soon after the first one surprised analysts and said it could be a sign of real discussions about denuclearisation.

The young leader stirred up tensions on the Korean Peninsula with his nuclear weapons testing and purging of several key officials close to Beijing, including his uncle, Jang Song Thaek.

"The deal that we hope to reach - and the president's optimistic we can reach - with North Korea will address all those issues".

"If he still holds the position as a senior adviser to the President, I would assume so", said Victor Cha, a Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in response to a question about whether the controversial professor actually speaks on behalf of President Moon.

The demilitarized zone, or DMZ, between North and South Korea, and Singapore are believed to be the most likely contenders for the venue.

US diplomats and military planners such as Defense Secretary James Mattis have repeatedly said that "there is no wedge" between the United States and South Korea and that the security alliance between the two countries, which are tied by a mutual defense treaty signed in 1953, remains strong.

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