Korean peninsula

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi to visit North Korea this week

Diplomat’s trip comes in wake of the summit between North and South Korea and suggestions that China may be left out of talks to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 April, 2018, 11:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 April, 2018, 11:25am

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit North Korea this week, his office said on Monday, days after the leaders of the two Koreas held a landmark summit.

Wang, who is also a State Councillor in China’s cabinet, will be in the neighbouring country at the invitation of his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho on Wednesday and Thursday, the foreign ministry said in a brief statement.

Kim Jong-un offers to give up North Korea’s nukes if US promises not to invade, says South Korea

He will be the first Chinese foreign minister to visit the North since 2007, but Beijing has relied more on its Communist Party diplomatic agency to engage Pyongyang in recent years.

China has backed a series of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons programme, but Beijing is likely to be eager to avoid being marginalised in the wave of diplomacy that has led to last Friday’s historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in.

Kim and Moon agreed to pursue the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula.

They also agreed to pursue a peace treaty by the end of the year and hold talks with the United States, and possibly China to achieve it.

China could be excluded from peace talks after Trump-Kim summit, analysts say

The Korean war ended in 1953 with an armistice rather than a peace treaty. China fought on the North’s side.

Chinese analysts have said there is a chance China could be left out of the negotiations following a summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim. They say Beijing should be involved in talks for a peace treaty to officially end the Korean war.