North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he strongly supports denuclearization during a rare meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The diplomat is visiting Pyongyang after a landmark agreement between the two Koreas.
“The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is the firm position of the North Korean side,” Kim Jong-un told Wang Yi on Thursday.
During the talks Kim also emphasized “peaceful changes” and further promotion of peace in the region that came after he traveled to the South and met his counterpart Moon Jae-in. The declaration, signed by the duo at the historic meeting on April 27, marked the beginning of “new age of peace” and sought “complete denuclearization”.
Beijing hailed the agreement that ends “the state of war” and said it “fully supports” North Korea’s commitment, according to the foreign ministry.
On Wednesday, Wang Yi started a two-day visit to the neighboring communist state and met his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-Ho. Wang became the highest-ranking Chinese official to travel to North Korea in years.
China is considered the main economic lifeline for North Korea, despite condemnation of its nuclear and missiles tests and implementing UN punitive measures against the North. It was in Beijing, where the first indications of possible compromise between South and North Korea, and potential denuclearization, were voiced by Kim.
Before tensions in the region began to ease earlier this year, Beijing and Moscow were among those rare voices on the international arena that called for dialogue instead of threats. China and Russia pushed forward the dual-freeze initiative, calling to halt both North Korean tests and US war-games on its doorstep, that were deemed a provocation by Pyongyang.
“We are pleased to see that the situation on the Peninsula is moving forward in the right direction,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters on Wednesday. She added that Beijing will continue to play “a constructive role for the final settlement of the Peninsula issue.”
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