The Latest: Kim says he’s committed to denuclearization
BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on reports of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):
Chinese state media have quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as telling Chinese President Xi Jinping that his country remains committed to denuclearization and has no need to possess nuclear weapons if a “relevant party” drops its “hostile policy and security threats” against it, in a clear reference to the United States.
“I hope to build mutual trust with the U.S. through dialogue,” Kim was quoted as saying. He said a political resolution of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearization should proceed in stages, with all sides moving in concert.
The U.S. government has demanded that North Korea immediately commit to denuclearization.
Chinese media said Kim met with Xi on Monday and Tuesday. Kim met last month with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and is preparing for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, possibly as early as this month.
Chinese state media have quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as saying he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to inform him about sweeping changes in the region.
“At a crucial time when the regional situation is developing rapidly, Kim said he came to China again to meet with (Xi) and inform him of the situation,” the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Kim as telling Xi.
State media said the two leaders met Monday and Tuesday in Dalian, a northern Chinese port city.
Neither leader was quoted as directly referring to Kim’s meeting late last month with South Korean President Moon Jae-in or his planned summit in coming weeks with U.S. President Donald Trump.
However, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as saying China “supports North Korea to stick to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and supports North Korea and the U.S. in solving the peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation.”
U.S. President Donald Trump says he will speak Tuesday with President Xi Jinping of China.
Trump tweeted that they will discuss trade, an area where he says “good things will happen.” He says they will also discuss North Korea, where he says “relationships and trust are building.”
China says Xi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Monday and Tuesday in China. It was their second meeting, following Kim’s visit to Beijing in March. The latest Xi-Kim meeting also comes as Trump prepares for a historic summit with Kim in late May or early June.
Trump said last week the time and place will be announced soon.
Trump is to meet at the White House on May 22 with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who recently met with Kim.
China says President Xi Jinping has met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a northern Chinese port city.
The meeting, held Monday and Tuesday in Dalian, is the second between the two men in recent weeks, following Kim’s March visit to Beijing, his first since taking power six years ago.
China is North Korea’s only major ally, although trade between them has plummeted in recent months as Beijing enforces United Nations economic sanctions in response to the North’s nuclear bomb and ballistic missile tests.
The meeting between Xi and Kim comes as the North Korean leader prepares to hold a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
China has been eager to assert its importance in the process of lowering tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Media reports Tuesday said Chinese President Xi Jinping may have met with a high-ranking North Korean official in the Chinese port city of Dalian amid tight security and the spotting of a North Korean airliner at the city’s airport.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have been aboard the plane, although it cited no direct evidence.
Japan’s Kyodo News service said the plane departed on Tuesday.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper cited two unidentified sources as saying that Xi had flown to Dalian on the coast east of Beijing to meet with the official as well as to preside over the official launch of sea trials for China’s first entirely self-built aircraft carrier.