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Beijing: Inter-Korea liaison office a sign of progress

By Elizabeth Shim
Beijing: Inter-Korea liaison office a sign of progress
China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday China hopes the two Koreas will work toward the "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" ahead of the third inter-Korea summit in Pyongyang. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 17 (UPI) -- China endorsed the opening of an inter-Korea liaison office in North Korea on Monday ahead of the third summit between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Beijing foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China hopes the meeting between the two Korean leaders will make progress in resolving the issue of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, according to the Global Times.

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Signs of improvements include the inter-Korea liaison office, Geng said.

"The establishment of an inter-Korea joint liaison office will help strengthen the [North-South] relationship, and promote reconciliation-cooperation and help carry out the 'Panmunjom Declaration' as agreed upon at the inter-Korea summit," Geng said.

RELATED KCNA: North Korea premier inspects Pyongyang venues ahead of summit

China and North Korea have visibly improved bilateral ties since Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim met three times.

Xi did not attend the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding on Sept. 9, but sent an envoy, Li Zhanshu, to take part in the ceremonies.

KCNA reported Sunday Kim wrote a thank you letter to Xi following the Chinese delegation's visit.

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"I was able to feel a special sense of goodwill of the Chinese Communist Party, the government and the people through the visit of the chairman of the National People's Congress of China, Li Zhanshu, who Premier Xi sent to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the government," Kim said in his letter.

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Regional governments in China are taking initiatives to build on the pro-engagement momentum to strengthen transportation links to North Korea.

The South China Morning Post recently reported Liaoning Province is proposing a rail link between the Chinese city of Dandong and Pyongyang.

RELATED U.S., Russia, China need a summit

Liaoning is also proposing a new road between the two cities, with a connection at the North Korean border city of Sinuiju, according to the report.

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