China 'hopes USA and North Korea can meet halfway'

A vehicle that is part of a motorcade believed to be carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un makes its way through central Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly told the leader of his only major ally, China, that he wants to "achieve results" on the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula in a second summit with President Donald Trump.

"Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to China was at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, of course President Xi would hold meetings and talks with him", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing, adding that more details would be released later.

But it may also have sent a message to Trump that Pyongyang has other options if rapprochement with Washington fails.

Singapore, which hosted the first Trump-Kim summit last June, and Vietnam are within flying distance of the North Korean leader's plane, the Chammae-1, which is capable of flying a distance of 7,000km.

Shi Yinhong, an global relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Kim's trip would have no direct influence on the progress of trade talks.

The US administration has been keeping mum on the visit as well.

The US president's strategy of maximum pressure depends largely on cooperation from Xi.

Kim said in his New Year speech he was ready to meet Trump any time to achieve their common goal of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

But Hua said Kim's visit would have a "limited" effect on the trade negotiations.

In a New Year's address, Kim pledged his commitment to complete denuclearization in a message to Washington and expressed his desire to meet again with Trump - a sentiment immediately reciprocated by the USA president over Twitter.

"He wants to have his cake and eat it too", argues James Kim. China frequently invites visiting North Koreans to view factories and other models of economic development.

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Officially, at least, China says it considers the tariff battle and North Korea's weapons programs to be entirely separate. "We have maintained close communication and shared information", he added. But now, after the meeting in Beijing, Kim appears to be singing a different tune.

We can safely assume that Kim Jong-un has known all along that America wouldn't be abandoning their own nuclear weapons arsenal or unilaterally pulling all of our troops out of South Korea.

Xi seeks an end to the ongoing trade dispute, which is hurting the Chinese economy.

Xinhua quoted Mr Xi as saying he hoped that North Korea and the United States could meet each other half way and that the global community expected peaceful negotiations. US President Donald Trump, who often comments on diplomatic issues and his accomplishments via Twitter, had not mentioned the summit between Kim and Xi as of Wednesday. The two sides have a truce that expires March 1. Recently, another one of China's top producers of traditional medicines, the Tianjin-based Quanjian Group, has been under fire and under investigation following a viral article recounting how a four-year-old girl with cancer had died after being taken out of chemotherapy and treated with the company's herbal medicines.

Trump said Sunday that the United States and North Korea were negotiating the location of their next summit.

Instead, it may be more fruitful to look at what Pyongyang has actually done so far in the wake of the Singapore summit.

"There is a gap between Pyongyang and Washington over what it means to denuclearise", he said. His delegation was seen off by high-ranking Chinese officials and honour guard at a Beijing train station and could return to North Korea as soon as Thursday morning, Yonhap said.

Xi Jinping said that "the legitimate issues raised by the DPRK are rightful demands and that he fully agrees that the DPRK's reasonable interests should be justly resolved".

"That seems to be fairly clear and out in the open now".

Lu on Tuesday clarified Beijing's role amid the North-U.S. denuclearization talks, saying China aims to play a "positive factor".

Kim could not be seen but the limousine he uses was observed zipping east down a main thoroughfare in Beijing on Wednesday.

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