Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Xi Jinping accepts offer to visit Pyongyang, North Korea says

Xi Jinping accepts offer to visit Pyongyang, North Korea says

Kim visited Beijing by train this week for 2 days of talks with Xi seen as a strategy session ahead of a second summit between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump.

Mr Moon also said the North would have to seek a compromise in a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, which he said could be imminent, in order to resolve the impasse.

As for the presence of US troops in South Korea, President Moon said it has nothing to do with the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which he noted includes both the North and military commitments by the U.S.

Discussions between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal have stalled since Kim and Trump's high-profile summit in Singapore in June where they issued a vaguely worded declaration about denuclearisation.

Pyongyang needed to take "bold, practical measures for denuclearisation" to ensure sanctions are lifted, he told reporters, but added that "corresponding measures" were also needed from the U.S., such as agreeing a "peace regime" and formally declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

He also credited Chinese President Xi Jinping with helping reduce regional tensions, saying 'the Korean Peninsula situation has been easing since past year, and China's important role in this process is obvious to all'.

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 US -led sanctions.

"But Hawaii is said to be an unrealistic location, as it doesn't have a North Korean embassy there", another official added.

By inviting Kim to meet him in China before a summit with Trump, Xi may be sending a message to Washington that "Beijing still has leverage over Pyongyang", according to Lim.

Kim also said North Korea hopes its "legitimate concerns" will be given due respect, a reference to its desire for security guarantees and a possible peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.

"China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea's nuclear capability; I expect they will continue to do so".

Kim's Beijing visit was seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of United Nations sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un departed for Pyongyang after visiting an industrial site in Beijing, Wednesday.

Kim previously met with Xi before and after the Singapore Summit with Trump.

Kim acknowledged China's role in developments on the Korean peninsula.

The North Korean leader is keen to achieve sanctions relief, but he seems to know Xi may be better able to grant that wish than Trump.

"We welcome North Korea's intention to resume their operation without conditions or compensation", Moon said.

"To resolve the issue of worldwide sanctions on North Korea, I believe the North should take practical, bolder steps towards denuclearization".

Tuesday was Mr. Kim's birthday.

It has become something of a ritual: Last year, Kim briefed Xi before and after his historic summits with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

All sides should "jointly push for a comprehensive resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue", he said.

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