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International Relations

Xi shows high hopes for North Korea summits

Chinese leader promises Beijing's active involvement in dialogue

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, meets with South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-Yong on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. REUTERS/Pool   © Other Provider(90days)

BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed hope for success Monday in upcoming talks expected between North and South Korea as well as between Pyongyang and Washington, while making clear that Beijing will keep playing an active role in tackling the nuclear issue.

Chung Eui-yong, chief of South Korea's National Security Office, briefed Xi here on his delegation's meetings last week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump. The talk with Xi lasted 35 minutes, a South Korean insider said.

China has always supported inter-Korean rapprochement along with engagement between North Korea and the U.S., Xi said, reiterating Beijing's goals of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and resolving the matter through dialogue. He praised Seoul's efforts in bringing other countries to the negotiating table. The two Koreas intend to hold a summit next month, with a meeting between U.S. and North Korean leaders expected to follow. 

But South Korea's leadership has left some in China worried about Beijing losing its influence. Xi said China will continue to work with South Korea and the international community toward resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.

In a nod to China's concerns, Chung stressed that Beijing played an important role in the recent positive developments on the peninsula. He extended an invitation from President Moon Jae-in for Xi to pay a state visit to South Korea at the earliest possible date, according to the president's office in Seoul.

Chung met earlier that day with State Councilor Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat, South Korean media reported. China's steadfast support for peaceful denuclearization was a great help, Chung said. The South Korean security adviser also dined with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday evening.

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