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N Korea, China 'discussing Xi visit to Pyongyang'

AFP  |  Tokyo 

and have been holding talks about a visit by Chinese to Pyongyang, a Japanese newspaper reported today as regional leaders step up diplomatic dialogue.

The North is using its embassy to arrange Xi's itinerary with the international department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, reported, quoting Chinese and North Korean sources.

Plans under discussion include a visit to in June soon after a proposed summit between US and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the mass-circulation daily said.

Asked about the report, a in said: "We are willing to maintain and strengthen high-level exchanges with the DPRK (North Korea), deepen strategic communication and expand exchanges and cooperation to benefit the people of both countries."

"Not long ago, Xi said he is willing to maintain regular contact with through visits, special envoys and the exchange of letters," said

The Chinese side will make a final decision after observing the results of the planned US-North summit, according to the Yomiuri.

Xi's planned trip to appeared to have been on the agenda of a weekend meeting between Kim and a senior Chinese in Pyongyang, it said.

Kim made a surprise trip to the Chinese capital to meet Xi in late March and invited him to visit

and are trying to repair relations, which have been strained as has backed a series of sanctions intended to pressure Pyongyang to stop its nuclear activities.

Kim is scheduled to hold a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27.

is also expected to host a trilateral summit next month between Shinzo Abe, Moon and Chinese

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 17:10 IST