North Korea, China leaders agree to boost 'strategic, tactical' cooperation

Elias Hubbard
June 23, 2018

"If we sternly separate ourselves from the unfortunate past and acquire a strong mindset for the new times, humanitarian cooperation between the North and South will flourish", North Korea delegate Pak Yong Il said at the start of the meeting at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort.

President Trump announced an end to United States military exercises in South Korea at a press conference following his summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12.

It was Kim's third trip to China this year as he keeps close contact with his main ally.

The Trump administration on Friday issued a routine notice to Congress describing the threat as reasoning for keeping sanctions in place on North Korea.

Comrade Chairman's visit to China showed the great importance he attaches to the strategic communication between the two parties and two countries, Xi said, expressing his appreciation to Kim. "We can also build a gas pipeline via North Korea, so that not only South Korea will receive Russian gas but we will also be able to deliver it to Japan", the South Korean president said.

In reality, the document he signed with Kim at their June 12 summit in Singapore only reiterated North Korea's previous commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

A timeline for carrying out the process also remains unclear.

According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, the number of South Koreans seeking to meet their loved ones in the North totaled 132,124 as of end-May, of which only about 57,000 remain alive.

He is declaring that North Korea has already begun ridding itself fully of nuclear weapons following an agreement with Kim in Singapore earlier this month, even though his Defense Department says otherwise.

Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said that all US sanctions will remain in force for now. It did not provide more details.

It could signal North Korea is willing to include a moratorium on satellite launches in addition to their missile and nuclear tests, which has been a point of contention in past agreements and derailed negotiations in the past.

The Koreas last held family reunions in 2015 before relations worsened because of North Korea's accelerated pursuit of nuclear long-range missiles and the hard-line response of Seoul's then-conservative government. It was not clear if Kim and Xi discussed the prospect of easing the United Nations sanctions during their talk.

Earlier this week, the US and South Korea announced they had agreed to suspend a joint military exercise scheduled for August, although decisions regarding subsequent drills have not yet been made.

A series of posters celebrating the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration between Pyongyang and South Korea have also been released.

"Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea", he added.

The US defence secretary, James Mattis, has said he is unaware of any steps taken by North Korea towards dismantling its nuclear weapons programme since the Singapore summit and does not expect any in the immediate future.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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