Xi: China, S. Korea should bolster communication over N. Korea developments

Pauline Gross
March 13, 2018

South Korea's envoy to Pyongyang, Seoul's National Security Office director Chung Eui-Yong, met with President Trump on Thursday to brief him on his visit to North Korea.

"I think North Korea needs time to organize their position and is being careful and cautious in approaching regarding the summit", said Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyn.

Three in four South Koreans welcome North Korea's warmer tone on inter-Korean relations and its willingness to talk about denuclearization with the United States.

When Mr Trump called Xi Jinping the day after his decision to meet Mr Kim, the Chinese leader no doubt appreciated being consulted and said he hoped that the dialogue with North Korea would start as soon as possible.

But the White House on Friday seemed to pull back on the initial announcement, saying North Korea must meet "concrete and verifiable steps" before the meeting could take place.

He said that, in delivering the invitation to Trump orally, it was possible that the South Korean envoys may not necessarily have accurately conveyed to the United States leader what Kim said, "let alone what he meant", without a written record of the invitation.

North Korea is competing for the first time in the Winter Paralympics, continuing its signaling some amount of reconciliation with South Korea and the worldwide community.

As Pyongyang's patron and biggest trading partner, Beijing might also need to clarify its role in denuclearisation, if North Korea's ultimate goal was to end the severe sanctions imposed on the country in the past year over a series of ballistic missiles and nuclear tests, he said.

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"We're not going to have this meeting take place until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.Trump praised a possible future agreement with the nuclear-armed North as "very good" for the worldwide community as a whole.

China's trade crackdown shows how it remains indispensable both in persuading North Korea to agree to talks and in fostering and safeguarding a longer-term solution, Renmin University foreign affairs expert Cheng Xiaohe wrote in the ruling Communist Party newspaper Global Times on Monday.

"Let's be very clear", she said in a statement.

Trump verbally accepted an invitation to meet with Kim last week, stating that he expected "tremendous success" in solving the problem of a nuclear-capable North Korean state.

South Korea's national security adviser on Monday thanked China for its "active support" in the diplomatic process that has set up a historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Brown and Portman both supported a bill a year ago that imposed sanctions on North Korea for testing a long-range ballistic missile.

They said: "We pray that this momentum will not be reversed by the unwise resumption of threatening military exercises, and that the drums of war will be silenced". Between 1950 and 1953 the two nations went to war following border incursions by North Korea.

Other reports by GizPress

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