Sunday, February 24, 2019 | ePaper

N Korea, China agree to boost `strategic, tactical` cooperation

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The meeting between the leaders came on the second and last day of Kim Jong Un’s latest visit to Beijing.

Reuters, Seoul :
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed measures to bolster "strategic and tactical" cooperation between the two countries in a second meeting on Wednesday, the North's state media said on Thursday.
The meeting between Kim and Xi came on the North Korean leader's second and last day of his latest visit to Beijing, where he briefed the Chinese president on his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore last week.
Both the leaders discussed measures to bolster "strategic and tactical" cooperation after shift of Kim's focus
They exchanged "serious views" on the present and "new" situation, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
On Tuesday, Kim and Xi were reported by North Korean media to have reached an understanding on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula after discussing the outcome of the US-North Korea summit.
Kim visited an agricultural institute run by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences before meeting Xi on Wednesday, KCNA said, where he observed vegetables being grown inside.
The North Korean leader also visited a traffic control centre in Beijing before departing for Pyongyang on Wednesday afternoon, KCNA said. The visits to the two locations were also reported by Chinese media.
Kim has pledged to make the economy in North Korea a priority after he announced the achievement of a long-held ambition to develop nuclear weapons. North Korean media has frequently stressed advancements made in its agricultural and industrial sectors in recent months.
The official China Daily newspaper said in an editorial on Thursday ties between the two countries have "radiated new vitality", and that Kim's visits to the agricultural and traffic control centres showed the economy was a priority for him.
"Kim's latest talks with Xi will have reassured him that China stands behind the DPRK as it switches its focus to economic development," the paper said, using North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Meanwhile, Japan has decided to halt evacuation drills to prepare for a potential North Korean missile attack as tensions had eased following a historic summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday.
U.S. President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last week and Kim committed to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", while Trump said he would end what he called "provocative" U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
Japan welcomed the summit as a first step towards the denuclearization of North Korea, but also said the U.S.-South Korean exercises were a vital deterrent to North Korean threats.
North Korea last year launched two missiles that flew over Japan. It also conducted its sixth nuclear test.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga repeated that it was vital for North Korea to take concrete steps toward complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all its weapons of mass destruction and missiles.
Suga noted, however, that North Korea has said it would not conduct tests and Kim had promised complete denuclearization.
"The situation is different from last year when missile launches were frequent and it is not a situation where missiles will soon come flying," he told a news conference, adding that the matter of the drills was under consideration.

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