Chinese state media said on Thursday, January 10th, that President Xi Jinping told North Korea's leader that Beijing backs his possible second summit with the US President to kick-start stalled denuclearisation talks, hoping they "meet each other halfway", AFP has reported.
The statement came a day after North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un left Beijing on his special armoured train for Pyongyang after a two-day visit.
"Political settlement of the (Korean) Peninsula issue faces a rare historic opportunity," Xi was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua News Agency.
"China hopes that North Korea and the US will meet each other halfway," Xi said, adding that China is ready to play a positive and constructive role to maintain peace and stability in the peninsula.
The US insists that UN sanctions must remain in place until North Korea gives up its weapons, while Pyongyang wants them immediately eased. China also wants the sanctions to be relaxed.
For his part, Kim said North Korea "will continue sticking to the stance of denuclearisation and resolving the Korean peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation", adding that he will "make efforts for the second summit to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community.”