China's Xi says looks forward to smooth US-North Korea talks

Olive Hawkins
March 12, 2018

North and South Korea agreed to hold working talks to hammer out the details of the inter-Korean summit, but the two Koreas have not officially spoken since the South Korean delegation returned from the North last week, Baik said.

South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong who led the delegation will head to Russian Federation on Tuesday after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, the Blue House said.

Xi said President Moon Jae-in showed his consideration for Seoul-Beijing ties by sending his special envoy to China, adding that he thinks highly of the South Korean move.

Yang said China insists on all parties "sticking to solving the issue through dialogue and consultation". The Trump-Kim meeting will likely follow what would be a third inter-Korean summit, scheduled to be held late next month.

In his first-ever meeting with South Korean officials, the North Korean leader said his country was willing to denuclearize in exchange for a security guarantee, according to Chung.

China, which has repeatedly pressed the U.S. and North Korea to hold talks, has urged Xi and Kim to hold their meeting as soon as possible.

Map showing the geography of North Korea and South Korea
Map showing the geography of North Korea and South Korea

"China's faithful implementation helped make the Security Council's resolution effective", Cheng wrote, citing a 52 per cent decline in trade with South Korea in January against the year before that required "significant sacrifice" on China's part.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula has recently undergone very positive changes".

While China supports maintaining sanctions for the time being, it is prepared to restore its trading relationship with the North in the event of a breakthrough in order to "create a favourable external environment for North Korea's sustainable economic development", Cheng wrote.

South Korea will "deploy all possible means" to respond to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the country's finance minister said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed hope that Beijing and Seoul will handle "sensitive issues" properly by strengthening bilateral communications.

China is North Korea's only diplomatic ally and its most important trade partner.

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