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North Korea

How China and North Korea saw talks between Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 11:23pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 March, 2018, 4:46pm

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made a surprise visit to China this week, holding talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both sides described the visit as a key step in cementing their bilateral relationship, but there were differences in how they presented the talks between Xi and Kim.

China’s state news agency Xinhua said Kim was committed to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but that reference was not included in the report by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency. Here’s how state media from both sides reported on the talks.

Xinhua’s version of the trip on Wednesday

At the invitation of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), paid an unofficial visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday.

During the visit, Xi held talks with Kim at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcoming banquet for Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju and watched an art performance together.

Li Keqiang, Chinese premier and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan attended related activities, respectively.

During the talks, Xi expressed warm welcome on behalf of the CPC Central Committee to Kim for his first visit to China.

Xi said he appreciated that Kim sent him a congratulatory message after the 19th CPC National Congress on his re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and the assumption of office of chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission (CMC).

Xi was also grateful to Kim for congratulating him again several days ago immediately after he was re-elected China’s president and chairman of the CMC of the country.

Xi said Kim’s current visit to China, which came at a special time and was of great significance, fully embodied the great importance that Comrade Chairman and the WPK Central Committee have attached to the relations between the two countries and the two parties.

“We speak highly of this visit,” Xi told Kim.

For his part, Kim said a series of major and happy events have taken place consecutively in China recently, as the 19th CPC National Congress was held victoriously last year, and the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference were successfully held not long ago.

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Kim said Comrade Xi Jinping enjoyed the support of the CPC and the people of the whole country, became the core of the leadership and was re-elected Chinese president and CMC chairman. He said it is his obligation to come to congratulate Xi in person, in line with the DPRK-China friendly tradition.

At present, the Korean Peninsula situation is developing rapidly and many important changes have taken place, Kim said, adding that he felt he should come in time to inform Comrade General Secretary Xi Jinping in person the situation out of comradeship and moral responsibility.

Xi said the China-DPRK traditional friendship, established and cultivated meticulously by the elder generations of leaders of both parties and both countries, was the precious wealth of both sides.

Sharing common ideals and beliefs as well as profound revolutionary friendship, the elder generations of leaders of the two countries trusted and supported each other, and wrote a fine story in the history of international relations, said Xi.

He said several generations of the leaders of China and the DPRK have maintained close exchanges and paid frequent calls on each other like relatives.

The two parties and countries have supported each other and coordinated with each other during long-term practices, making great contributions to the development of the socialist cause.

“Both Comrade Chairman and I have personally experienced and witnessed the development of China-DPRK relationship,” said Xi, adding that both sides have stated repeatedly that traditional China-DPRK friendship should be passed on continuously and developed better.

“This is a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-DPRK ties. This should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time,” Xi said.

The CPC and the Chinese government highly value China-DPRK friendly cooperative ties, Xi stressed. It is an unswerving principle of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop good relations with the DPRK, he said.

“We are willing to work together with DPRK comrades, remain true to our original aspiration and jointly move forward, to promote long-term healthy and stable development of China-DPRK relations, benefit the two countries and two peoples, and make new contribution to regional peace, stability and development,” Xi said.

Xi made four proposals concerning the development of China-DPRK relations.

Firstly, continue giving play to the guiding role of high-level exchanges. High-level exchanges have always played the most important guiding and promoting role in the history of China-DPRK relations. Under the new circumstances, I am willing to keep frequent contacts with Comrade Chairman through various forms such as exchange of visits, and sending special envoys and letters to each other.

Secondly, make full play of the time-tested valuable practices of strategic communication. It is the splendid tradition of the two parties to have frequent in-depth exchange of views on major issues. Both sides should maximize the important role of party-to-party exchanges, promote exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in various areas, and strengthen communication and mutual trust.

Thirdly, actively advance peaceful development. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and the DPRK’s socialist construction has also ushered in a new historical period. We are ready to make joint efforts with the DPRK side, conform to the trend of the times, hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, continuously improve the wellbeing of the two peoples, and make positive contribution to regional peace, stability and development.

Fourthly, cement the popular will foundation for China-DPRK friendship. The two sides should, through various forms, enhance people-to-people exchanges, consolidate the foundation of popular will for bilateral friendly relations, especially enhance youth exchanges, inherit and carry forward the fine tradition of China-DPRK friendship.

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Kim said he was greatly encouraged and inspired by General Secretary Xi’s important views on DPRK-China friendship and the development of relations between the two parties and countries.

The DPRK-China friendship, which was founded and nurtured by the elder generations of leaders of both countries, is unshakable, he said. It is a strategic choice of the DPRK to pass on and develop friendship with China under the new situation, and it will remain unchanged under any circumstances.

Kim said his current visit aims to meet Chinese comrades, enhance strategic communication, and deepen traditional friendship, hoping to have opportunities to meet with Comrade General Secretary Xi Jinping often, and keep close contacts through such forms as sending special envoys and personal letters to each other, so as to promote to a new level the guidance of high-level meetings to the relations between the two parties and countries.

The two sides informed each other of their respective domestic situation. Xi said the 19th CPC National Congress had drawn a grand blueprint for building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects – building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, having basically achieved modernization by 2035 and building a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century.

The CPC will lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in keeping on working with great determination and continuously striving for the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, Xi said.

“We have noticed that Comrade Chairman has led the WPK and the people of the DPRK in taking a series of active measures and scoring achievements in developing economy and improving people’s wellbeing in recent years,” Xi said.

The Chinese side expects political stability, economic development and people’s happiness in the DPRK, and supports the WPK, led by Comrade Chairman, in leading the people of the DPRK to advance along the path of socialism, as well as the endeavors by comrades of the DPRK in developing economy and improving people’s livelihood, Xi said.

Kim said, since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has, with tremendous political courage and a strong sense of responsibility, developed new thinking and new ideas, put them into action, and solved many tough problems that were never resolved and accomplished many big things that were long on the agenda but never got done. These achievements fully proved that the lines of the CPC are correct lines that accord with the national conditions. In particular, Comrade General Secretary has put forward the requirements that the Party should exercise effective self-supervision and practice strict self-governance in every respect, which has contributed greatly to Party building and realized the overall Party leadership over all work. At present, the WPK is also intensifying its efforts in fighting against arrogance, bureaucracy and corruption. 

Kim said he sincerely hoped that China will continuously make new great achievements in the course of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and a great modern socialist country.

The two leaders thoroughly exchanged views on the situation of the world and the Korean Peninsula.

Xi said that positive changes had taken place on the Korean Peninsula since this year, and China appreciates the important efforts made by the DPRK. 

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On the Korean Peninsula issue, Xi said that China sticks to the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula and solving problems through dialogue and consultation.

China calls on all parties to support the improvement of inter-Korean ties, and take concrete efforts to facilitate peace talks, said Xi, noting that China will continue to play constructive role on the issue and work with all parties, including the DPRK, toward the thaw of the situation on the peninsula.

Kim said that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is starting to get better, as the DPRK has taken the initiative to ease tensions and put forward proposals for peace talks.

“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” he said.

Kim said that the DPRK is determined to transform the inter-Korean ties into a relationship of reconciliation and cooperation and hold summit between the heads of the two sides.

The DPRK is willing to have dialogue with the United States and hold a summit of the two countries, he said.

“The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if south Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace,” said Kim.

The DPRK hopes to enhance strategic communication with China during the process, jointly safeguard the trend of consultation and dialogue as well as peace and stability on the peninsula, said Kim.

Before the talks, Xi held a welcoming ceremony for Kim at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People.

After the talks, Xi and Peng held a welcoming banquet for Kim and Ri. While delivering an address, Xi said that in the beautiful season of spring when everything is coming back to life, the unofficial visit of Comrade Kim Jong Un and Lady Ri Sol Ju to China is of great significance for the two countries to deepen communication, strengthen coordination and promote cooperation, and will push the relations between the two parties and the two countries to a new high in the new historical phase, as well as make important contributions to pushing forward the peace, stability and development in the region. 

Xi said he had candid and friendly talks with Chairman Kim Jong Un. “We agreed that carrying forward the traditional friendship between China and the DPRK accords with the common interests of both sides, and is the common strategic choice of both sides.” 

“No matter how the international and regional situation changes, we will both firmly grasp the global development trend and the overall situation of the China-DPRK relationship, strengthen our high-level exchanges, deepen our strategic communication, expand our exchanges and cooperation, and benefit the people of both countries and the people of all countries,” he said.

While addressing the banquet, Kim said that as the situation of the Korean Peninsula is undergoing unprecedented changes, he paid a swift visit to China, out of good wishes for promoting peace and stability on the peninsula, and carrying on and developing the DPRK-China friendship. 

He said the fact that he chose China as the destination of his first overseas visit showed his will to carry forward the tradition of DPRK-China friendship, and how he valued the friendship between the two countries.

“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,” he said.

“In this spring full of happiness and hopes, I believe my first meeting with General Secretary Xi Jinping will yield abundant fruits of DPRK-China friendship, and facilitate peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

During the visit, Xi and Peng held a luncheon for Kim and Ri in the Yangyuanzhai Room of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Xi said that the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse has witnessed the development of the traditional friendship between the two countries, and the close relations between leaders of the elder generations of the two parties and two countries “have set an example for us.” 

“We welcome Chairman Kim Jong Un and Lady Ri Sol Ju to visit China now and again,” Xi said.

Kim said that the DPRK-China friendship is especially precious, adding he would like to join hands with Xi to follow the noble will of leaders of the elder generations, carry on and develop the DPRK-China friendship that remains unchanged despite winds and rains, and elevate it to a new high under new circumstances.

Kim also visited an exhibition showcasing the innovation achievements of the Chinese Academy of Sciences since the 18th CPC National Congress. Kim showed his admiration for China’s accomplishments in the development and innovation of science and technology, and wrote an inscription to mark the visit.

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Ding Xuexiang, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee; Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee; Guo Shengkun, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee; Huang Kunming, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee; Cai Qi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee; and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the activities.

Choe Ryong Hae, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the Organization and Guidance Department; Pak Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department; Ri Su Yong, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the International Department; Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the United Front Department and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, accompanied Kim Jong Un on his China tour and attended related activities. 

Korean Central News Agency’s version of Kim’s talks with Xi

There were talks between Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, president of the People’s Republic of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission, at the Great Hall of the People on March 26.

The supreme leaders of the two parties and two countries of the DPRK and the PRC exchanged views on important matters including the development of the DPRK-China friendly relations and the issue of handling the situation of the Korean peninsula.

Kim Jong Un said that he was pleased to have the first significant meeting with Xi Jinping.

He said that it is the fixed determination of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government of the DPRK to carry forward the precious tradition of the DPRK-China friendship, provided and strengthened by the leaders of elder generations of the two countries, and put it on a new high stage as required by the developing era.

He talked about the need to meet often Chinese comrades including Xi Jinping to further deepen friendship and strengthen the strategic communication and strategic and tactical cooperation so as to consolidate the unity and cooperation between the two countries.

He voiced his expectation that the Chinese people would achieve shining successes in the cause of building modern and powerful socialist country in the new era and in the struggle to realize China’s dream of the great prosperity of the Chinese nation under the correct leadership of the Communist Party of China with Xi Jinping at the core.

Xi Jinping warmly welcomed Kim Jong Un for visiting China as his maiden foreign trip.

He stressed that it is the strategic option and unshakable will of the Chinese party and government to attach importance to and steadily carry forward and develop the Sino-DPRK friendship which the leaders of elder generations personally provided and nurtured with sincerity in the course of contributing to the victorious advance of the socialist cause, out of common ideal, faith and deep revolutionary friendship.

The recent positive change observed in the situation of the Korean peninsula is a fruition of strategic decision made by Kim Jong Un and the efforts exerted by the party and government of the DPRK, he said.

He expressed the conviction that under the leadership of Kim Jong Un the Workers’ Party of Korea would register fresh successes in steadily advancing along the socialist path, developing the economy and improving the standard of people’s living by guiding the Korean people.

Kim Jong Un invited, on behalf of the party and government of the DPRK, Xi Jinping to make an official visit to the DPRK at a convenient time and the invitation was accepted with pleasure.

Present at the talks from the DPRK side were Ri Su Yong and Kim Yong Chol, members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK and vice-chairmen of the WPK Central Committee, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK.

Present from the PRC side were Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the CPC Central Committee Secretariat, Ding Xuexiang, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, member of the CPC Central Committee Secretariat and director of the CPC Central Committee General Office, Huang Kunming, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, member of its Secretariat and head of its Publicity Department, Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Yi, state councilor and minister of Foreign Affairs, and Song Tao, head of the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee.