China’s President Xi to visit North Korea this week
Published on: June 18, 2019 08:26 (EAT)
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea for two days from Thursday, state media in both countries reported on Monday, making him the first Chinese leader to visit in 14 years. Neighboring China is reclusive North Korea’s only major ally, and the visit comes amid renewed tensions between the United States and North Korea over efforts to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. “Both sides will exchange views on the (Korean) peninsula situation, and push for new progress in the political resolution of the peninsula issue,” China’s official broadcaster CCTV said in a lengthy report that led the evening news. The invitation was made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, state media in both countries said. Since a failed summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim in Hanoi earlier this year, Pyongyang has resumed some weapons tests and warned of “truly undesired consequences” if the United States is not more flexible. Xi’s visit kicks off a flurry of high-level diplomatic activity around the Korean peninsula, with Trump set to visit ally South Korea after the G20 summit this month in Osaka, Japan. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office said he and Xi would hold talks during the G20. The visit also comes against a backdrop of mounting acrimony between Beijing and Washington over trade and other issues.