ROK praises China for nudging N. Korea to talks

The Associated Press BEIJING (AP) — South Korea’s national security director on Monday praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s role in nudging North Korea toward denuclearization talks, following word of a possible summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Meeting with Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Chung Eui Yong said the situation on the Korean Peninsula had “undergone very positive changes.”

“[South Korean] President Moon Jae In believes that the leadership of the Chinese government, especially the leadership ability of President Xi, has played a big role in this,” Chung said.

“That we were able to get to this stage shows China has played an important role,” he said. “Once again, we expect that China will continue to play an active and leading role and the South Korean government will continue to coordinate closely with China.”

Xi told Chung the peninsula was “facing an important opportunity of mitigation and dialogue,” according to state broadcaster CCTV. He referred both to the potential Trump-Kim summit and talks between Moon and Kim scheduled for next month at a truce village inside the Demilitarized Zone that divides their countries.

“We are looking forward to the smooth holding of the summit meeting between the two Koreas and the dialogue between North Korea and the U.S. and achieving concrete progress in promoting the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the normalization of relations between each other,” Xi said.

“As long as all sides can focus on the fundamental goals of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability, a day of the melting of the hard ice and the blossom of the spring flowers will be seen on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

Chung made similar comments at an earlier meeting with China’s top foreign policy adviser, Yang Jiechi, who told Chung that China insists on all parties “sticking to solving the issue through dialogue and consultation.”

“As long as all parties insist on solving the issue politically and maintain this direction, we can undoubtedly lead the situation on the Korean Peninsula to move forward in the direction in which the global community hopes for,” Yang said.Speech

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