Chinese officials are currently planning to send their top trade negotiator to Washington, D.C., next month for trade talks designed to end the tariff battle between the two nations.

Ahead of the meetings, the Chinese are appearing to leverage their influence with North Korea to optimum benefit. North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un was in Beijing this week, and made significant statements related to promises made during June’s Singapore Summit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his commitment to the denuclearization and vowed efforts to produce good results from his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese state media said Thursday.

Kim made the pledge during his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday, according to Xinhua News Agency. Kim was in China for a four-day trip, his fourth visit to the neighboring ally in about 10 months.

“The DPRK will continue sticking to the stance of denuclearization and resolving the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation, and make efforts for the second summit between DPRK and U.S. leaders to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community,” Xinhua quoted Kim as saying during talks with Xi.

In conjunction with this announcement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to take bolder disarmament measures.

Moon said resolving the issue of North Korea sanctions hinges on how fast Pyongyang denuclearizes and whether it receives reciprocal measures from the United States. He said that would top the agenda in an expected second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

“North Korea knows it needs (to take) clear denuclearization steps to see international sanctions lifted and the United States also realizes that reciprocal measures are needed to match these North Korean denuclearization steps,” Moon told a news conference.

South Korean official indicated that Vietnam and Singapore are being considered for the second summit between Kim and Trump.

Vietnam and Singapore are likely to be shortlisted to host a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the US President Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs Ministry officials said on condition of anonymity Thursday.

“(The venues you should pay attention to) are those mentioned by media including Vietnam, Singapore and Hawaii,” one ministry official said. “But Hawaii is said to be an unrealistic location as it doesn’t have a North Korean embassy there,” another official added.

Interestingly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government is “using various channels” to communicate with North Korea. It is suspected that a summit with Japan has been the one of the topics of these discussion.

“Nothing has been decided on a Japan-DPRK summit, not even the timing,” Abe said in translated comments to a press conference in London on Thursday, using North Korea’s formal name. “But we are using various channels including the embassy in Beijing to communicate with North Korea.”

“I would like to refrain from disclosing any details on our communications with the DPRK since it may impact the future negotiations,” he added.


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