North Korea's Kim Jong Un floats eventual 'denuclearization'

North Korea's Kim Jong Un floats eventual 'denuclearization'
© Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un floated eventual "denuclearization" on the Korean Peninsula during his trip to Beijing this week, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.

"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," Kim said, according to Xinhua.

ADVERTISEMENT

The comments came during Kim's visit to Beijing, in which he is said to have met multiple times with Chinese President Xi Jinping, with the pair photographed shaking hands in a photo published by Xinhua.

The visit comes ahead of planned talks between North and South Korea next month as the U.S. pushes to secure limits on Pyongyang's nuclear program.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE said earlier this month that he would be open to meeting with Kim if North Korea committed to denuclearization.

The White House said it had been briefed by China about the visit earlier Tuesday.

"The Chinese government contacted the White House earlier on Tuesday to brief us on Kim Jong Un's visit to Beijing. The briefing included a personal message from President Xi to President Trump, which has been conveyed to President Trump," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. 

"The United States remains in close contact with our allies South Korea and Japan. We see this development as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea." 

The developments, including a proposed meeting between the pair by May, follow a series of aggressive moves by North Korea that have prompted condemnation from the international community.

North Korea bucked the wishes of its global counterparts last year and launched a series of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), prompting sanctions from the U.S. and the United Nations. 

Kim and Trump also traded personal barbs last year, with Trump dubbing the North Korean leader "little rocket man" while Kim referred to Trump as a "dotard."