SEOUL, May 2 (UPI) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi travelled to Pyongyang on Wednesday, to hold talks with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho.
Wang’s two-day trip comes after the inter-Korean talks held last week between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who agreed to pursue a full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, formally end their 1950-53 Korean War and seek a peace treaty.
The Chinese diplomat is expected to be briefed on the talks between Moon and Kim. Wang is also likely to discuss President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pyongyang, after Xi accepted Kim’s invitation last month to reciprocate his trip to Beijing.
Ahead of Kim’s subsequent summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, a number of experts believe China wants to secure its involvement in any talks or developments surrounding the Korean Peninsula, the South China Morning Post reported.
“China is undoubtedly eager to hear what Kim’s plan is for his meeting with Donald Trump,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China specialist at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
Zhao Tong, a fellow on the nuclear policy programme at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy, said the Chinese diplomat may try to persuade Pyongyang to act regarding quadrilateral talks between the two Koreas, Washington and Beijing.
South Korean media reported Wednesday that Moon will hold summit talks with various regional leaders from May to share the results of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and seek cooperation on efforts for denuclearizing the North.
Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said Moon plans to make a day trip to Tokyo next Wednesday to attend the seventh trilateral summit between South Korea, China and Japan.
The spokesman said Moon, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang are expected to discuss ways to enhance their cooperation as well as various geopolitical issues concerning the Northeast Asia region.
Moon will share the outcomes of the inter-Korean summit and seek joint efforts for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace in the region.
He will hold a separate meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during his trip, the presidential spokesman said.
The South Korean president is also expected to hold a summit with the Russian leader in late-June, the Maeil Business Daily reported.