By Christine Kim and Christian Shepherd
SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an understanding on issues discussed at a summit of the two leaders, including denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the North’s state media said on Wednesday.
Kim and Xi assessed the historic meeting Kim had with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore last week and exchanged opinions on ways to resolve the issue of denuclearization, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
The North Korean leader also promised during a meeting with Xi in Beijing to cooperate with Chinese officials to secure “true peace” in the process of “opening a new future” on the Korean peninsula, it said.
Xi told Kim the neighbors’ joint efforts could definitely ensure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, China’s official Xinhua news agency said.
“I have faith that, with the joint efforts of China and North Korea, our relationship can definitely benefit both countries and both peoples,” he said, during a meeting at Beijing’s Diaoyutai state guest house.
Kim told Xi that previously China and North Korea had helped each other out like family members. “General Secretary comrade Xi Jinping has shown us touching and familial support and concern,” he said, according to Xinhua.
Kim wrapped up his two-day trip to Beijing on Wednesday with a visit to an agricultural sciences exhibition and the Beijing subway command center, Xinhua added.
The visit follows his Singapore summit, where Kim and Trump reaffirmed a commitment to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Trump surprised officials in South Korea and the United States after that meeting by saying he would end “provocative” joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
The United States and South Korea said they had agreed to suspend a joint military exercise set for August, although decisions regarding subsequent drills have not yet been made.
On Wednesday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa said the decision to suspend the exercise could be reconsidered, based on future developments with North Korea.
“I think we’ve made it clear this is a goodwill gesture to strengthen dialogue momentum,” Kang said.
“It’s not irreversible. They could come back if the dialogue loses speed, or if North Korea doesn’t live up to its denuclearization commitment,” she said.
Kim is on his third visit to China this year. Xi offered high praise to the North Korean leader on Tuesday for the “positive outcome” of last week’s summit with Trump.
KCNA also reported that Xi said relations between China and North Korea had reached a new level of development since Kim’s first visit in March and that the pacts by the two leaders were being carried out “one-by-one”.
Kim also told Xi he was willing to bolster friendship and cooperation, it said.
It was widely expected that Kim would visit Beijing to brief Xi on his summit with Trump, which included Pyongyang agreeing to hand over the remains of troops missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.
Two U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday North Korea could start that process within the next few days.
(Reporting by Christine Kim; Additional reporting by Joori Roh and Joyce Lee in SEOUL and Idrees Ali in WASHINGTON; Editing by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez)