N. Korea committed to nuclear talks, envoy tells China

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s envoy, Choe Ryong Hae, told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday that Pyongyang was committed to the stalled six-nation talks on ending its nuclear weapons programme.

North Korea was willing to join “many kinds of dialogue”, Chinese state media quoted Mr. Choe, a top military official with close ties to Mr. Kim, as telling Mr. Xi. China, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia have all urged North Korea to resume the nuclear talks with them.

Mr. Choe delivered a letter from the North Korean leader to Mr. Xi and said North Korea would take “positive measures” to promote dialogue, the semi-official China News Service reported.

He said North Korea wanted to “create a peaceful external environment” and planned to “develop its economy to improve people’s livelihoods. China hopes all parties will exercise calm and restraint ... and promote the resumption of the six-party talks,” Mr. Xi was quoted as saying.

Mr. Choe’s visit was the first to China by an envoy of the North Korean leader since Kim Jong Un took power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011.

The visit came as tensions in the region have been high after North Korea in February conducted its third nuclear test and responded to the subsequent international sanctions that were placed on it with threats, including nuclear war.

Kim Jong Il made a similar commitment to dialogue during his final visit to China in August 2011, saying he was “ready to resume the six-party talks without preconditions.” But no formal talks have taken place since then.

During a meeting on Friday with Chinese military leader Fan Changlong, Mr. Choe warned that there was “no guarantee of peace” on the Korean Peninsula.

Mr. Fan is vice-chairman of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, which is headed by Mr. Xi.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 3:39:40 PM |

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