BEIJING — North Korea’s Kim Jong Un made his first-ever foreign trip as leader to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency said Wednesday.
China has confirmed leader Kim Jong-un has visited Beijing, and says it won a pledge from him to work towards denuclearising the Korean Peninsula.
During the visit from Sunday to Wednesday which came at the invitation of Xi, Kim held talks with the Chinese president who hosted a banquet to welcome the North Korean leader and his wife Ri Sol Ju, Xinhua said.
“I have had successful talks with General Secretary Xi Jinping on developing relations between the two parties and the two countries, our respective domestic situation, maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and other issues,” Kim said at the banquet.
The North Korean leader further termed the China visit his “solemn duty”. He also said that his country is committed to denuclearisation.
Beijing has traditionally been the closest ally of secretive North Korea, but ties have been frayed by the North’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and China’s backing of tough UN sanctions in response.
But, relations between China and North Korea had soured as Beijing has backed tough United Nations sanctions to punish Pyongyang for its missile and nuclear tests.
Xinhua said Mr Kim told Mr Xi that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was starting to improve because North Korea had taken the initiative to ease tensions and put forward proposals for peace talks.
“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearisation on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il-sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong-il,” Kim Jong-un said, according to Xinhua.
Analysts had earlier suggested Beijing had been sidelined by Pyongyang’s approaches to Seoul and Washington, but Kim’s visit puts China firmly back at the centre of the diplomatic scrum.
“Both Comrade Chairman and I have personally experienced and witnessed the development of China-DPRK relationship,” Xi said, using the initials for North Korea’s official name.
32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say
JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.
Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.
Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.
“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.
Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.Follow @gorkhapost