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NKorean leader reportedly committed to 2nd summit with Trump

AP  |  Beijing 

North Korean Un has reportedly told the of his only major ally, China, that he is committed to setting up a second summit with to "achieve results" on the nuclear standoff on the

The comments, contained in reports Thursday from Chinese and North Korean state media, came after Kim left on his special armored train for after a two-day visit to the Chinese capital.

Kim's trip to - his fourth in the past 10 months - is believed to be an effort to coordinate with ahead of a possible second summit with Trump. It comes after US and North Korean officials are thought to have met in to discuss the site of the summit.

Kim met with Chinese during his trip, Chinese and North reported Thursday. It wasn't clear from the reports if Kim was in back in the North, but his train presumably would arrive sometime Thursday.

Xi was quoted as saying that supports the US-North summits and hopes the two sides "will meet each other halfway." The North said in its report that Xi accepted an invitation to visit North Korea, although details of when he might come were not given.

Kim reportedly said North "will continue sticking to the stance of denuclearisation and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation, and make efforts for the second summit between (North Korean) and US leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community."

Trump and Kim met in in June for the first-ever leaders' meeting between their nations, but there has been a standoff ever since, with dueling accusations of bad faith.

South Korea's Agency said Kim visited a in and spent around 20-30 minutes touring a factory run by famed maker

North Korean and Chinese announced his visit shortly in advance of his arrival in Beijing, in a break with standard protocol dictating such trips are only confirmed after they happen.

said Kim met with Xi for about an hour on Tuesday and later attended a dinner at the of the People in central hosted by Xi and his wife,

Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the agency said.

At Tuesday's daily briefing, said Beijing remains supportive of efforts to end tensions over US demands for a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"We always believe that, as key parties to the issue, it's important for the two sides to maintain contact and we always support their dialogue to achieve positive outcomes," Lu said.

Tuesday was Kim's birthday. His visit is also seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of UN sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.

While hasn't conducted any launches or detonations in more than a year, it's displayed no real intention of abandoning the programs that are seen as guaranteeing the government's survival.

Kim's visit also came after he expressed frustration in his annual New Year's address over the lack of progress in negotiations with since the summit with Trump in June, saying that if things don't improve meaning that if sanctions relief and security guarantees aren't in the offing might have to find "a new way" forward.

While Trump says he considers Xi key to enticing Kim into taking concrete steps toward denuclearization, the president's own relationship with his Chinese counterpart has frayed over the U.S.-China trade war.

Officially, at least, China says it considers the tariff battle and North Korea's weapons programs to be entirely separate.

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

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 17:05 IST
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