Chinese and North Korean leaders to attend Russia summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend a regional summit in Russia next week, officials said. a gathering that may include North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the heads of Japan and South Korea. It will be the first time that a Chinese leader participates in the annual economic forum hosted by Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also invited Kim Jong Un to participate in the Sep 11-13 Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Kim has not confirmed his attendance, but his participation would mark another major step in his efforts to bring Pyongyang out of international isolation over its nuclear programme.

Xi and Kim met three times in China this year as the two countries seek to repair relations frayed by North Korea’s nuclear activities and Beijing’s backing of United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.

Xi is sending the head of China’s rubber-stamp legislature, Li Zhanshu, to Pyongyang this weekend to attend celebrations marking North Korea’s 70th anniversary, ending speculation that the Chinese president would use the occasion to make his first official trip to the neighboring country.

In the latest chapter in the roller-coaster diplomacy over North Korea, US President Donald Trump signaled on Thursday that negotiations on denuclearization remain alive after weeks of an apparent deadlock.

[AFP]

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