Kim, Xi discuss strengthening strategic cooperation

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Seoul, June 21 (IANS) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed ways to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in their latest talks, state media reported on Thursday.

“The top leaders of North Korea and China exchanged serious views on the present situation and urgent international issues and discussed issues to further strengthen the strategic and tactical cooperation between the two parties and the two countries under a new situation,” Yonhap news agency reported.

Kim wrapped up his two-day visit to Beijing on Wednesday, during which the leaders held two rounds of talks. It was his third visit in about three months, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

Kim’s visit came a week after his historic meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.

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His China trip is seen as an apparent bid to strengthen bilateral ties with the country ahead of the North’s high-level talks with the US to discuss the details of how to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs.

China also appears to be working hard not to be marginalised in the fast-paced nuclear diplomacy surrounding the Korean Peninsula by bringing the North closer to its side after years of chilled relations over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile provocations.

The KCNA also reported Kim visited the Sci-tech Innovation Institute under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and toured a traffic control centre, along with automated systems for the subway on Wednesday.

Kim also visited North Korea’s Embassy in Beijing for the first time since he took power in late 2011.

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Previously, Kim travelled to China and met Xi in March in his first foreign trip since taking office. The two also met in May ahead of Kim’s summit with Trump.

–IANS

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