Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un meet in China

Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un meet in China

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to speak about trade and North Korea in a phone call on Tuesday morning, as Xi's top economic adviser plans additional talks in Washington following last week's trip by USA officials to Beijing.

They also disagreed about whether or not North Korea should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, a point that Kim seems to have since come around on.

In the interview, Moon said Kim's desire for "complete denuclearisation" laid the groundwork for the future summit between the United States and North Korea, although it remained to be seen if concrete steps were agreed at the talks.

Kim expressed hope that his planned meeting with US President Donald Trump will build mutual trust and lead to phased and synchronous measures to achieve denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump and Xi discussed developments on the Korean peninsula and Kim's visit to China during a phone call on Tuesday morning, the White House said.

North Korean state media KCTV said Kim flew to Dalian on Monday on his private jet, where he was welcomed by high-profile Chinese officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

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Japanese public broadcaster NHK had shown images of two North Korean aircraft taxiing at Dalian's airport, one an Air Koryo plane and another carrying a North Korean emblem.

Pompeo's latest trip raised the prospects that the three Korean-American detainees - Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chul - could be turned over to him.

China has consistently been one of North Korea's few allies.

After Trump accepted Kim's offer to meet, Beijing quickly followed up by having Kim visit Xi.

China has been eager to assert its importance in the process of lowering tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim travelled to Beijing by train in March for his maiden official trip overseas and met President Xi Jinping for the first time since taking power in 2011.

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"We're prepared to meet anyone who can speak on behalf of the North Korean government and give us solid answers so we're prepared", Pompeo said to reporters, according to Washington Post reporter David Nakamura.

Pompeo, who first traveled to North Korea as Central Intelligence Agency chief in early April, is only the second sitting secretary of state to visit the reclusive nation with which the U.S. is still technically at war.

China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, but Beijing has been angered by Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and supported tough United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.

It is the second meeting between the two leaders in less than two months, after they held a secret meeting in the Chinese capital of Beijing in late March.

Chinese internet users posting on social media described heavy security in the city and extensive flight delays on Monday.

For his part, Kim could be trying to improve ties with Xi - which have been frosty, to put it mildly - in case his outreach to Trump falls flat, analysts say.

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