Beijing : North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived here on Tuesday for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping to chalk out his next course of action after his summit with US President Donald Trump where it was agreed to denuclearise Korean peninsula.

The visit, Kim’s third since March, is taking place amid sharp escalation rhetoric between Beijing and Washington over tariffs almost spiralling into a trade war.

Kim, who visited Beijing twice earlier before his Singapore summit with Trump, arrived by air to meet the top Chinese leadership.

“Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) visits China from June 19 to 20,” a brief announcement by state-run Xinhua news agency here said.

For his part, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang parried several questions on Kim’s visit and its purpose saying details will be released in a timely manner.

Kim is visiting China and there is a reason for this, he said.

As to why news of the visit was released at this point, he said relevant information will be released according to the specific situation.

Geng was not forthcoming when asked whether China will join Russia in calling for lifting of UN sanctions against North Korea in the light of the Singapore

summit.

“China stands against the unilateral sanctions outside the UNSC. This position is very clear. We believe that sanctions itself is not an end and all parties should support and coordinate with the current diplomatic efforts and dialogue to work hard for denuclearisation and political settlement of the Korean peninsula issue,” he said.

The UN Security Council imposed a series of economic sanctions against North Korea after it conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, crippling Pyongyang.

Since he took over, Trump piled pressure on China to stringently implement the UN sanctions which many believe led to Kim agreeing to scale down his nuclear programme leading up to the summit with Trump.

S Korea, US suspend major military drill

Seoul/Beijing: South Korea and the US have decided to suspend the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise slated for August amid dialogue efforts to denuclearize North Korea, officials of the two countries said on Tuesday.

Shortly after his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, US President Donald Trump unveiled his plan to stop “provocative, inappropriate and expensive” war games with the South, which Pyongyang has decried as an “invasion rehearsal”, Yonhap news agency reported.

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