North Korea LIVE: China’s foreign minister arrives in Pyongyang

North Korea LIVE: China’s foreign minister arrives in Pyongyang ahead of President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-Un

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China’s foreign minister has arrived in Pyongyang as Beijing seeks to mend fences with its nuclear-armed neighbour.   

The two-day visit by Wang Yi follows a landmark inter-Korean summit and precedes a meeting between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

Wang, who will meet his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho during his stay, was greeted by vice foreign minister Ri Kil Song and other officials at Pyongyang airport.

The two top diplomats met in Beijing last month, days after Kim travelled to China for talks with President Xi Jinping.

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  • Stewart Paterson

    Host commentator

Wang Yi shook hands with his North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Kil Son at Pyongyang Airport today.

South Korean soldier have begun taking down huge speakers that blared out propaganda towards North Korea

South Korea said American forces should stay on the border with North Korea — even if such a future peace treaty is signed with its neighbour to the north.

‘U.S. troops stationed in South Korea are an issue regarding the alliance between South Korea and the United States. It has nothing to do with signing peace treaties,’ said Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House, citing President Moon Jae-in.

Kim Dong-chul, a South Korea-born American pastor, has been detained in the North since 2015 when he was arrested for spying. He was sentenced to 10 years’ hard labour in 2016.

Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang-duk – or Tony Kim – were both working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, founded by evangelical Christians from overseas, when they were detained last year on suspicion of ‘hostile acts’.

Three Americans detained in North Korea may have been moved ahead of a possible release to coincide with a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, sources told AFP on Wednesday.

The United States has been demanding the North free Kim Hak-song, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Dong-chul and reports have said the two sides were close to reaching a deal on their release.

‘They are staying in a hotel on the outskirts of Pyongyang,’ said Choi Sung-ryong, a South Korean activist with contacts in the North.

China Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit comes a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed to work toward the ‘complete denuclearisation’ of the Korean Peninsula, though they did not mention specific plans or timetables.

They also agreed to work toward formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and push for three-way talks with Washington or four-way talks that also include Beijing to do so.

More substantial discussions on Pyongyang’s nukes are expected between Kim and President Donald Trump, who could meet in May or June.

 

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