Seoul envoy thanks Xi for 'big role' in NKorea nuclear talks

Seoul envoy thanks Xi for 'big role' in NKorea nuclear talks

In Beijing on Monday, Xi told Chung the Korean peninsula faces an important opportunity for talks to ease the situation.

South Korean envoys are visiting Japan, China and Russian Federation to brief the countries on planned inter-Korean talks and a meeting between North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

Trump agreed to meet Kim Jong Un by the end of May and the two Koreas will hold a summit by the end of April.

North and South Korea agreed to hold working talks to hammer out the details of the inter-Korean summit, but the two Koreas have not officially spoken since the South Korean delegation returned from the North last week, Baik said.

In a statement, South Korea's presidential spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, said Xi told the delegation that he hopes an upcoming inter-Korean summit, set for April, will go well and produce achievements.

"We will continue to realise the goal of denuclearisation, uphold the peaceful unification of the peninsula, and solve problems through dialogue and consultation", he said.

"We are very grateful to China for its consistent position", he said.

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During the forthcoming meeting, Kang and Tillerson also plan to discuss the United States' recent protectionist measures as well as other economic and trade issues, the ministry said, referring to Trump's recent decision to impose heavy tariffs on steel imports, including those from South Korea.

Xi did not say more about the North Korean nuclear crisis, but he said China's relations with South Korea have "maintained a good momentum of improvement".

In Beijing, Chung expressed thanks for China's role at a meeting with its top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi.

China earlier expressed its support for the USA plan to hold an unprecedented summit with the North by the end of May.

Beijing has played a key role in implementing United Nations sanctions on the North, which are believed to have put vast pressure on the country's fragile economy.

Ahead of her visit, Lee Do-hoon, the foreign ministry's chief negotiator on the North Korean nuclear issue, will travel to the USA on Wednesday to arrange the foreign ministerial talks, according to the ministry.

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