Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

North Korea, China 'discussing Xi Jinping visit to Pyongyang'

North Korea, China 'discussing Xi Jinping visit to Pyongyang'

The festivities surrounded the April 15 "The Day of the Sun", the anniversary of the birth of the founder of North Korea and the Kim dynasty, Kim Il Sung, in 1912.

He added it will likely focus on issues of denuclearisation and peace on the Korean peninsula, and an improvement in relations not only between the two Koreas but also with other countries including the United States.

Kim and Ri Sol Ju watched the troupe perform choreodrama "Red Women Company" at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre on Monday, the Korean Central News Agency said.

"We expect the summit will confirm the denuclearisation will (of North Korea)".

North Korea's ties with China, its sole major ally, had become strained over the past couple of years over the North's contentious missile and nuclear tests, which China disapproves of.

Kim reportedly invited Xi to North Korea during his visit to China in late March.

"The complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the most urgent task that lies before us and a task we must complete peacefully", the president said while attending a Buddhist service held for the success of his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Xi's planned trip to Pyongyang appeared to have been on the agenda of a weekend meeting between Kim and a senior Chinese official in Pyongyang, it said. He will be the first North Korean leader to step on South Korean soil since the 1950s.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un welcomes Song Tao, the head of the worldwide department at the Central Committee of the Communist Party, in Pyongyang, Korean Central TV reported Saturday.

He stressed that Seoul will therefore make efforts to communicate with the United States as the country and North Korea work on their summit.

A successful summit between Moon and Kim could pave the way for a meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump - the first between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader.

One way to resolve the conflict could involve returning the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone to its original state, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper said.

Seoul and Pyongyang are discussing the wording of a possible joint statement to be released at the summit, Im said.

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