China Pushes Talks on North Korea as Kim Visits
Reports surfaced last week that Kim Jong-un, son and heir apparent of Kim Jong-il, was visiting China. However, over the weekend, it was revealed that Kim the elder was in fact in China, on his third trip there in a year, and it is not clear whether his son was accompanying him. Meanwhile, China held a summit with South Korea and Japan which focused on the handling of North Korea. From Reuters:
The North Korean leader Kim’s latest trip to China, coinciding with the summit, exposed entrenched disagreements on how to handle Pyongyang.
At the trilateral meeting in Tokyo, Wen joined Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in voicing concern about North Korea’s “claimed” uranium enrichment, which could give it a second pathway to making nuclear weapons.
Wen also defended talks between the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, stalled for more than two years, as the best way to defuse confrontation with North Korea over its nuclear weapons development, which has so far included two nuclear test blasts.
“The Chinese side has been constantly urging peace and negotiations and a restart to the six-party talks,” Wen told a joint news conference. “We’re convinced that only dialogue and consultations are the ultimate way forward for resolving the peninsula’s problems.”
See also: “China Juggles Diplomacy with Both Koreas” from South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, and “North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong Il Travels to China for Economic Guidance” from Bloomberg.