After noting a distinct change in tone in Chinese assessments of the DPRK only a few days ago, it turns out that Xi Jinping invited Kim Jong Un to Beijing.
As is the custom with such visits, the news appears after the meeting is over. Let me pick up some of the comments in the Xinhua account (although all the major Chinese news outlets are carrying the story).
Xi said Kim’s current visit to China, which came at a special time and was of great significance, fully embodied the great importance that Comrade Chairman and the WPK Central Committee have attached to the relations between the two countries and the two parties.
“We speak highly of this visit,” Xi told Kim.
Kim said Comrade Xi Jinping enjoyed the support of the CPC and the people of the whole country, became the core of the leadership and was re-elected Chinese president and CMC chairman. He said it is his obligation to come to congratulate Xi in person, in line with the DPRK-China friendly tradition.
At present, the Korean Peninsula situation is developing rapidly and many important changes have taken place, Kim said, adding that he felt he should come in time to inform Comrade General Secretary Xi Jinping in person the situation out of comradeship and moral responsibility.
Xi said the China-DPRK traditional friendship, established and cultivated meticulously by the elder generations of leaders of both parties and both countries, was the precious wealth of both sides.
Sharing common ideals and beliefs as well as profound revolutionary friendship, the elder generations of leaders of the two countries trusted and supported each other, and wrote a fine story in the history of international relations, said Xi.
He said several generations of the leaders of China and the DPRK have maintained close exchanges and paid frequent calls on each other like relatives.
The two parties and countries have supported each other and coordinated with each other during long-term practices, making great contributions to the development of the socialist cause.
“Both Comrade Chairman and I have personally experienced and witnessed the development of China-DPRK relationship,” said Xi, adding that both sides have stated repeatedly that traditional China-DPRK friendship should be passed on continuously and developed better.
“This is a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-DPRK ties. This should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time,” Xi said.
The CPC and the Chinese government highly value China-DPRK friendly cooperative ties, Xi stressed. It is an unswerving principle of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop good relations with the DPRK, he said.
“We are willing to work together with DPRK comrades, remain true to our original aspiration and jointly move forward, to promote long-term healthy and stable development of China-DPRK relations, benefit the two countries and two peoples, and make new contribution to regional peace, stability and development,” Xi said.
Kim said he was greatly encouraged and inspired by General Secretary Xi’s important views on DPRK-China friendship and the development of relations between the two parties and countries.
The DPRK-China friendship, which was founded and nurtured by the elder generations of leaders of both countries, is unshakable, he said. It is a strategic choice of the DPRK to pass on and develop friendship with China under the new situation, and it will remain unchanged under any circumstances.
Kim said his current visit aims to meet Chinese comrades, enhance strategic communication, and deepen traditional friendship, hoping to have opportunities to meet with Comrade General Secretary Xi Jinping often, and keep close contacts through such forms as sending special envoys and personal letters to each other, so as to promote to a new level the guidance of high-level meetings to the relations between the two parties and countries.
The two leaders thoroughly exchanged views on the situation of the world and the Korean Peninsula.
Xi said that positive changes had taken place on the Korean Peninsula since this year, and China appreciates the important efforts made by the DPRK.
On the Korean Peninsula issue, Xi said that China sticks to the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula and solving problems through dialogue and consultation.
China calls on all parties to support the improvement of inter-Korean ties, and take concrete efforts to facilitate peace talks, said Xi, noting that China will continue to play constructive role on the issue and work with all parties, including the DPRK, toward the thaw of the situation on the peninsula.
Kim said that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is starting to get better, as the DPRK has taken the initiative to ease tensions and put forward proposals for peace talks.
“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” he said.
Kim said that the DPRK is determined to transform the inter-Korean ties into a relationship of reconciliation and cooperation and hold summit between the heads of the two sides.
The DPRK is willing to have dialogue with the United States and hold a summit of the two countries, he said.
“The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if south Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace,” said Kim.
The DPRK hopes to enhance strategic communication with China during the process, jointly safeguard the trend of consultation and dialogue as well as peace and stability on the peninsula, said Kim.
The message to the world could not be more obvious.