SEOUL, March 27 (UPI) — North Korea has expressed commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while reaffirming bilateral ties with China.
Chinese state media Xinhua reported Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held talks in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss their strategic partnership and developments on the Korean Peninsula.
“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” Kim said, according to the Chinese news agency.
Kim reportedly told Xi that the situation on the peninsula is improving as the North has “taken the initiative to ease tensions and propose peace talks.”
He also said the North is willing to hold a summit with the United States and that the issue of denuclearization can be resolved “if South Korea and the United States respond to the North’s efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking measures for peace.”
The Chinese president remarked on the “positive” developments in inter-Korean relations and said Beijing remains committed to the goal of denuclearization on the peninsula.
Xi said China will play a constructive role in facilitating peace and efforts toward the “thaw of the situation on the peninsula.”
The two officials are also said to have agreed on deepening the China-North Korea friendship through frequent high-level contact and bilateral exchanges on various forms.
The reports of the summit confirmed speculation that a high-ranking North Korean official had made a visit to Beijing.
South Korea’s presidential office told reporters Wednesday morning that the Chinese government notified Seoul it would announce Kim’s visit shortly.
The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency also confirmed the four-day trip. It reported that Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, had visited China from Sunday to Wednesday on the invitation of Xi.
The summit between the two leaders was held on Monday, it said.
Also accompanying Kim Jong Un were top regime officials, including the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee Vice Chairmen Choe Ryong Hae, Pak Kwang Ho, Ri Su Yong, Kim Yong Chol, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.