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Pyongyang meeting seen as bolstering Xi ahead of Trump talks
Friday, 21 June 2019 23:37 WIB | GLOBAL |Global

Chinese President Xi Jinping's two-day state visit to North Korea couldn't have come at a better time for both countries, analysts say. For Pyongyang, it could help pave the way back to negotiations with the United States. For Beijing, they say, it provides Xi Jinping with a way to highlight China's influence on the North Korean nuclear issue.

One key message of Xi's visit is the claimed strength of ties between the two countries “ a narrative state media in both countries have been pushing heavily over the past two days. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) called the visit a œdecisive display of friendship.

KCNA said that friendship needs to be strengthened given the œserious and complex state of international relations. According to China's state-run Xinhua news agency, Xi said at a welcome banquet that the two countries had agreed to œunswervingly pass down their traditional friendship from generation to generation.

But ties between the two countries are much more tense and complex than state media reports suggest, partly explaining why Xi is the first Chinese leader to visit North Korea since 2005.

North Korea's flaunting of United Nations sanctions in the past “ including missile and nuclear tests “ has been a challenge to the relationship. Beijing has also joined the international community in imposing tough sanctions which remain in place against Pyongyang.

There has been some improvement in the relationship since the United States opened direct negotiations with the North, including President Donald Trump's high-profile summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore and Hanoi. During almost the same period, Kim visited China four times.

Source : VOA News

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