BEIJING, Chinese President Xi Jinping told a visiting South Korean delegation on Monday that the two nations should bolster their communication and properly resolve sensitive issues amid a planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Xi made the comments during a meeting with South Korean National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong, who was sent to share the outcome of his recent trips to North Korea and the United States.
During the meeting, Xi thanked President Moon Jae-in for sending the delegation, saying it displayed the importance of communication between the two nations.
Chung said he conveyed an invitation by Moon for Xi to make a state visit to South Korea.
In a statement, South Korea's presidential spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, said Xi told the delegation that he hopes an upcoming inter-Korean summit, set for April, will go well and produce achievements.
Xi also expressed his support for both the inter-Korean summit and the North Korea-U.S. summit, Kim said.
Earlier in the day, Chung met with China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, briefing him on the ongoing diplomatic efforts aimed at finding a breakthrough in the North Korean nuclear standoff through dialogue.
Yang said China supports the current diplomatic efforts and added that the nuclear standoff with the North should be resolved peacefully.
Chung led Moon's special envoys to Pyongyang and Washington, which led to the landmark announcements of inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea summit talks to be held in the coming months.
"China commits itself to the efforts of realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and resolving things through dialogue and negotiations," Yang said.
"The dramatic developments unfolding on the Korean Peninsula seem to conform with efforts to bring the denuclearization drive for the Korean Peninsula back on track and also with the direction of the U.N. Security Council resolutions," he added.
He underscored the importance of global efforts to pursue "political" and "diplomatic" resolutions.
China earlier expressed its support for the U.S. plan to hold an unprecedented summit with the North by the end of May. It will be preceded by what will be the third inter-Korean summit, which is scheduled for late April.
The dramatic turn of events follows a flaring of tensions up until late last year as the North continued its nuclear and missile tests despite strong condemnation from the international community.
Chung noted that China's strong commitment to a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issues has been of great help, mentioning Beijing's consistent support for direct inter-Korean dialogue in dealing with issues of the two Koreas.
Yang said that Chung's trip to Beijing demonstrates the strong emphasis that President Moon is placing on relations with China.
Source: Yonhap News Agency