BEIJING — The Latest on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s summit with China’s Xi Jinping (all times local):
U.S. President Donald Trump says there’s “a good chance” that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will “do what is right for his people and for humanity” and make moves toward peace.
In a pair of tweets early Wednesday, Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping told him a meeting Xi had with Kim this week “went very well.”
Trump said that according to Xi, the North Korean leader “looks forward” to meeting the American president. The White House has said Trump plans to meet Kim by May amid nuclear tensions between the two nations.
Trump said that meanwhile “and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!”
North Korea’s state TV has aired a 40-minute report on leader Kim Jong Un’s Beijing summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping without any video of their meetings.
Footage released earlier Wednesday by China Central Television showed Kim appearing reserved and collected as he sat at a long table holding talks with Xi. The imagery was a stark contrast to the loose and jovial manner Kim seemed to have in his own state media’s coverage of his meeting with South Korean envoys in Pyongyang earlier this month.
Two North Korean TV anchors alternated reading text reports about the meeting that was published hours earlier by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. KCNA released still photos of the Beijing meetings.
North Korean media also did not report Kim’s comments in Chinese media about his supposed dedication to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and willingness to open talks with the United States.
With smiles and firm handshakes, North Korea and China are using a surprise summit this week to show that despite recent tensions, Pyongyang still has a powerful backer and Beijing will not be sidelined in discussions about the fate of its unpredictable neighbor.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s secretive talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing appear aimed at improving both countries’ positions ahead of Kim’s anticipated meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump in the coming weeks.
Although China sought to keep Kim’s visit secret, and Wednesday described it as “unofficial,” it accorded him full honors due to a head of state, including a formal welcoming ceremony and troop review at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.
Japan’s prime minister has reiterated that any talks with North Korea must end its nuclear weapons program, following an unexpected meeting this week between the leaders of North Korea and China.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliamentary committee Wednesday that Japan has great interest in what happened and hopes to receive an explanation from China.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Chinese President Xi Jinping on a visit to Beijing that caught most of the world by surprise.
Abe said that “what’s important is not dialogue for dialogue’s sake, but to achieve nuclear and missile dismantling in a completely verifiable and irreversible way.”
He added that sanctions on North Korea must be maintained until it takes concrete actions toward that end.
The White House says the Chinese government contacted them Tuesday to tell U.S. officials about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to China.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the briefing included a “personal message from President Xi to President Trump,” which was conveyed to the president. She did not say what that message entails.
She’s stressing the U.S. has been in close contact with South Korea and Japan and sees the development “as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea.”
Trump earlier this month agreed to direct talks with Kim. Officials have yet to set a date.
China’s official news agency is citing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as saying that Pyongyang is “determined” to improve ties with South Korea and “willing” to hold a summit with the U.S.
Xinhua News Agency said Kim told Chinese President Xi Jinping that North Korea is working to ease tensions and propose peace talks. The report Wednesday followed Kim’s brief visit to Beijing this week.
Without directly quoting him, Xinhua cited Kim as saying that North Korea is “determined” to improve ties with Seoul and hold a summit between the heads of the two sides.
Xinhua described Kim as saying that North Korea is willing to hold a summit with the United States.
South Korea and Chinese media have confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited China.
It was Kim’s first known visit to a foreign country since he took power after his father’s death in late 2011.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that Kim made an unofficial visit to China and met with President Xi Jinping at the Chinese leader’s request.
The short trip saw a North Korean train enter China on Monday but was otherwise cloaked in secrecy.
The train looked like one used by Kim’s father, former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.