North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and vowed efforts to produce good results from his second summit with US President Donald Trump, Chinese media reports said Thursday.
Beijing is intent on keeping Pyongyang within its sphere of influence - the North acts as a buffer state, keeping the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea far from China's borders.
At their first meeting in Singapore in June, Kim and Trump signed a vaguely worded document with Kim pledging to work towards the "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula". Kim also said in the speech that there is a need to promote "multi-party negotiations" in bringing about a peace mechanism to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice agreement.
Xinhua also said that Kim and Xi agreed to make efforts for continuous "new development", a "political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula" and "more benefits" for the people of the two countries and that they would contribute to peace and stability, prosperity and development of the region and beyond.
Officially, at least, China says it considers the tariff battle and North Korea's weapons programs to be entirely separate. KCNA said Xi accepted an invitation to visit North Korea, although details of when he might go were not given.
Some experts say the sanctions relief, if pursued before South Korea's ally Washington is ready, could weaken ties with the United States and complicate efforts to rid the North of its nuclear weapons.
Mr Moon said Mr Kim's latest trip to Beijing signalled that a second summit was imminent.
Speaking at a New Year's press conference, Moon ruled out the possibility of North Korea's denuclearization and a potential peace treaty being linked to the USA military presence in South Korea, Japan and the Pacific. Mr. Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the news agency said.
Kim spent around half an hour touring a pharmaceutical factory operated by Tong Ren Tang, the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicinal products.
North Korea needs to take "more bold, practical measures for denuclearization" to ensure sanctions are lifted, the South's President Moon Jae-in said Thursday, January 10, with negotiations stalling between Pyongyang and Washington.
After arriving in Beijing, Tuesday, Kim had a meeting with Xi and attended a dinner reception at the Great Hall of the People.
"(China) does not think their interests would be threatened by better inter-Korean relations, whereas the possibility of a North Korean alignment with the United States, even potentially, against China, I think it's Beijing's nightmare", Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told AFP.
Kim previously met with Xi before and after the Singapore Summit with Trump.
Moon, however, made it clear that North Korea taking denuclearization steps is the key to resolving the matter.
Tuesday was Kim's birthday but there was no word of any official celebrations.
"We always believe that, as key parties to the Korean Peninsula issue, it's important for the two sides to maintain contact and we always support their dialogue to achieve positive outcomes", Lu said.