Moon, Xi commit to denuclearization of Korean peninsula

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Seoul, May 4 (IANS) The Presidents of South Korea and China on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to achieve peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

During a telephone conversation, Moon Jae-in praised Xi Jinping’s role in helping Seoul and Pyongyang reach an agreement on denuclearization during a historic summit held last week, Efe news agency reported.

“President Moon stressed that President Xi’s continued interest and support, as well as the Chinese government’s active contribution, are important in completely denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and establishing permanent peace,” the South Korean president’s office said in a statement.

In last week’s summit, Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had also agreed to sign a multilateral treaty – which would include China – to formally end the Korean War (1950-53).

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Moon and Xi had also agreed “the two countries will closely communicate and actively cooperate in the process of replacing the Korean armistice with a peace treaty,” the statement added.

Xi congratulated Moon on the success of the summit and said his efforts have been critical in achieving a positive outcome.

The Chinese President added that Kim Jong-un had showed his willingness to denuclearize during his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Pyongyang on Thursday.

“Kim again confirmed his willingness to shut down the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site and end the history of hostility on the Korean Peninsula,” Xi told Moon.

During the summit with Moon, Kim had offered to shut down the Punggye-ri site this month in the presence of journalists and international observers.

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Xi also had a phone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during which both leaders stressed the need to cooperate to address the North Korean nuclear crisis, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday.

The call comes ahead of a trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea and China, to be held in Tokyo on May 9.

The summit, being held after the recent inter-Korean summit and ahead of the upcoming meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump, will be attended by Abe, Moon and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

–IANS

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