The premier’s comments were reported by the Chinese Xinhua News Agency. They follow mounting speculation US President Donald Trump will hold another summit with Kim this year. Kim, who is celebrating his 26h birthday in northern China, met with Xi in Beijing.
The two leaders are believed to have met “in a cordial, friendly atmosphere” and discussed “China-DPRK relations and issues of common concern, and reached important consensus”.
Xi told Kim he sees a “rare, historic opportunity” for a Korean peninsula settlement.
The Korean region has been divided since 1953 by a heavily fortified demilitarised zone.
The buffer zone was installed after three years of brutal warfare between the US and South Korea on one side and North Korea and China on the other.
Last year Trump visited North Korea in a historic summit in what has been styled as a thawing in relations between the ideologically opposed nations.
During his New Year message post on Twitter, Trump said of North Korea: “I will tell you: there has never been an administration – and I am very proud of this – that has done more than the Trump administration in the first two years of office.
“You look at North Korea, we are doing really well – rockets aren’t being fired missiles aren’t being fired.
“We’re in no rush.”
However despot Kim fired back, saying his country would have “no option but to explore a new path in order to protect our sovereignty” if the United States “miscalculates our people’s patience, forces something upon us and pursues sanctions and pressure without keeping a promise it made in front of the world”.
More to follow…