Advertisement

Xi encouraged Kim Jong Un to resume talks with U.S., report says

By
Elizabeth Shim
A photo released Sunday by North Korea’s KCNA shows Kim Jong Un reading a letter from U.S. President Trump, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo by KCNA/EPA
A photo released Sunday by North Korea’s KCNA shows Kim Jong Un reading a letter from U.S. President Trump, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo by KCNA/EPA

June 23 (UPI) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping may have had a role in encouraging North Korea's Kim Jong Un to resume talks with U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Japan.

The Choson Sinbo reported Sunday Xi's most recent summit with Kim in Pyongyang was part of a "diplomatic offensive" to resume a dialogue process that stopped after the collapse of talks in Vietnam in February.

Advertisement

Following the summit with Xi, North Korea's KCNA news agency reported Kim had praised a letter he received from Trump as "excellent."

According to KCNA, Kim said he would "seriously contemplate the interesting content," while commending Trump's "extraordinary courage."

RELATED U.N. official: Sanctions are harming ordinary North Koreans, should be eased

The White House has not commented on the letter, but earlier in June Trump had said he received a "beautiful" and "very warm" letter from Kim.

On Sunday, the Choson Sinbo said China supports the resolution of North Korea's "reasonable concerns" through U.S.-North Korea dialogue.

The newspaper also said that it is "likely not a coincidence" Xi timed his meeting with Kim right before the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, where he would be meeting with Trump on the sidelines. Xi's "trust and friendship" with Kim could provide a strong forward momentum for subsequent U.S.-China negotiations, the Choson Sinbo said.

Advertisement
RELATED U.S. human trafficking report: China, Iran, N. Korea worst offenders

North Korea did not reveal the contents of the Trump letter on Sunday, but issued a photograph of Kim sitting at a desk in his study, reading the letter with glasses.

The photo indicates the letter includes a paragraph with nine lines, and an area that appears underlined. It is unclear whether Trump or Kim had made the marking, Yonhap reported.

The lower area of the letter shows Trump signed it with a dark pen. Trump is known for using the Sharpie pen as his signature-writing tool.

RELATED China's Xi Jinping arrives in Pyongyang for summit with Kim Jong Un

North Korea ran the story of Trump's letter on the first page of Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Sunday.

Latest Headlines