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People's Daily Online

Kim's visit highlights China's central role in denuclearizing Korean Peninsula

People's Daily Online

(CNTV) 08:10, March 30, 2018

The recent visit to Beijing by Kim Jong Un, the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has reaffirmed China's central role in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

"The trip affirms China's central role in keeping the peace in the region after a flurry of diplomatic activity had shifted the focus to South Korea (ROK) and the United States," an article by The Economist noted on Wednesday.

Jamie Tarabay, a senior producer at CNN Digital, said the visit sent a message to all parties that there can be no deal with Pyongyang without China's involvement.

DPRK 'committed to denuclearization'

In his first overseas trip since taking power in 2011, Kim said the DPRK is committed to denuclearization and willing to have dialogue with the United States.

"The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea (ROK) and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace," Kim told Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Kim echoed Xi by saying the DPRK hopes to make joint efforts with China to safeguard the trend of consultation and dialogue as well as peace and stability on the peninsula.

Amid the easing of tensions on the peninsula and ahead of the summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in May, the Xi-Kim meeting was a significant step in promoting reconciliation between relevant parties and creating further conditions for dialogue.

Commenting on the latest development, Trump tweeted on Wednesday that there is a good chance that Kim will do "what is right for his people and for humanity," adding that he looks forward to meeting with the DPRK leader.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) on Thursday welcomed the meeting between Chinese and DPRK leaders, calling it a significant development that will help denuclearize the DPRK and establish peace on the peninsula.

"We believe China's participation in dialogue for peace on the Korean Peninsula, realized by the recent summit, will help stabilize conditions on the Korean Peninsula," Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, said in a statement.

The DPRK and the ROK have agreed to hold a leaders' summit on April 27.

'China will never be marginalized'

Beijing has stressed many times that it is committed to the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, calling for a peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.

As a first step, China has been urging the DPRK to halt its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale US-ROK military exercises. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the approach has worked.

"China's suspension-for-suspension proposal has proven to be a right prescription for the problem," Wang said at a press conference on March 8.

Pyongyang has not conducted any missile test since the end of November, while Washington and Seoul have postponed their routine military drills until after the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"China has never been absent from the issue of the peninsula, and will never be marginalized," Su Xiaohui, deputy director of Department for International and Strategic Studies of China Institute of International Studies, wrote in an online commentary after Kim's visit to China.

"The meeting was a milestone in China's perennial effort to achieve the ultimate goal of lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia," Victor Gao, vice president of the Center of China and Globalization, told CGTN.

As Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington strive to address the remaining challenges, such as the US-ROK military drills, the presence of US troops and THAAD missile defense systems in South Korea, and how to deal with the DPRK's existing nuclear arsenal, China will continue to play a constructive and leading role in the process.

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