Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Xi Jinping meets Kim Jong Un in Beijing

Xi Jinping meets Kim Jong Un in Beijing

He said U.S. officials had tried and failed to persuade the North Koreans to include language in the joint statement in Singapore committing to "complete, verifiable and irreversible" disarmament with a timetable for carrying it out by 2020.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping raise a toast in Beijing, China, in this undated photo released June 20, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

At his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump last week in Singapore, Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization in exchange for U.S. security guarantees.

During his latest visit, Kim was accompanied by his top economic official, Premier Pak Pong-ju, on a visit to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

A US official identified it on Wednesday as the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, saying North Korea "has used this site to test liquid-propellant engines for its long-range ballistic missiles". Last September, Trump taunted Kim as "Rocket Man" in a speech at the United Nations, during which he vowed to "totally destroy North Korea" if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies.

"They've said they want complete denuclearisation and now we'll have to talk about how to achieve that and I think you will see diplomatic engagement proceed very quickly", Bolton told Fox News, but gave no details on timing.

Chinese state media reported the visit nearly as soon as he arrived, and CCTV broadcast the welcoming ceremony and the summit on the evening news.

China, which has positioned itself as the go-to partner in Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign against North Korea, hopes to exploit its influence over Pyongyang as leverage to try to gain tariff concessions from Mr. Trump - amid few signs that the president and his hawkish trade advisers are ready to back down. Mr Xi offered high praise to the North Korean leader for the "positive outcome" of the Singapore summit. KCNA said that during a banquet hosted by Xi, Kim also said North Korea and China are seeing their ties develop into "unprecedentedly special relations".

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Pyongyang, which had pledged to return the remains of American soldiers unaccounted for since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean war, is expected to start transferring them in the coming days, Reuters reported, citing U.S. officials.

According to the TIME report, North Korean officials are expected to transfer the remains into the custody of United Nations officials at the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea.

In a meeting held at a state guest house in Beijing before returning home, Kim told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the two countries supported each other like family members.

However, she didn't announce any travel plans for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or any lower level officials to Pyongyang.

The document used the acronym for North Korea's formal name.

The United States has about 28,500 servicemembers in South Korea as part of the longstanding alliance between the two countries that fought together in the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953.

The current visit to China has served as an opportunity to deepen the friendship between comrade general secretary and I, and advance DPRK-China ties, Kim said.

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