Cheong Wa Dae welcomes NK leader’s visit to China as prelude to 2nd Kim-Trump talks
Jan. 10, 2019
Global Korean Post
By Kim Minji
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s surprise visit to China on Jan. 8 elicited a positive response from the South Korean presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae. Kim arrived in Beijing by train in his fourth trip to China since coming to power.
Cheong Wa Dae said, “We hope exchanges between North Korea and China will serve as a stepping stone for the second summit between the North and the U.S.”
To stay in China through Jan. 10, Kim was invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to the government-run China Central Television (CCTV), quoting a spokesperson of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee.
Kim’s trip has attracted heavy coverage by foreign media including The Associated Press, with reports on his departure on the evening of Jan. 7 from Pyeongyang and arrival at Beijing Station the next day.
Last year, the North Korean leader visited China in March, May and June.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Jan. 6 said the venue for the second North Korea-U.S. summit will be announced soon, thus Kim’s visit to China is seen as a prelude to the meeting.
CNN said on Jan. 8 that the White House has conducted preliminary surveys of Bangkok, Thailand, Hanoi, Vietnam, and Hawaii in selecting the venue for the summit.
Cheong Wa Dae also expects Kim’s visit to China to help facilitate the second Kim-Trump summit, with spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom telling a news briefing, “We’ve been sharing information and communicating on Kim’s visit.”
“We hope the meeting between North Korea and China will contribute to denuclearization and a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, we expect communication between the two Koreas, North Korea and China, and North Korea and the U.S. to create a virtuous circle of dialogue so that progress in one exchange leads to the same in others.”