North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping have approved that strengthening bilateral ties, at a time of “serious and complicated” international affairs, was best for regional peace, North Korean state media KCNA said on Friday.
Xi arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday for a two-day visit , the first by a Chinese leader in fourteen years, and was greeted with a luxurious welcome which included a performance of the song “I love you, China” and lots of people holding up placards that formed a picture of Xi’s face and the Chinese flag.
China is the North’s only major ally and Xi’s visit is aimed toward bolstering an ally under pressure from UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs and a breakdown in denuclearization talks with the United States.
The visit also arrives a week before Xi and US President Donald Trump meet at the G20 summit in Osaka among an ongoing trade dispute.
KCNA said the Mass Games performance — titled “Undefeated Socialism” — was specially prepared for the Chinese goodwill visit and included songs like “Without the Communist Party, there is no new China” and “I love you, China .”
A photo launched by KCNA showed lots of people holding placards to form a giant picture of Xi’s face and the Chinese flag at the mass gymnastics and arts performance.
Other KCNA photos showed Xi and Kim smiling and laughing at the airport, on the red carpet, staring at cheering children and sitting with their wives.
Kim said Xi’s visit, which may see China carry fresh support for North Korea’s floundering, sanctions-bound economy, was “crucial” to show the world the unchanging friendship between the two countries, KCNA said.
While biggest allies, the two countries have often had strained relations.
Xi said Beijing and Pyongyang agreed that a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue has been “an inevitable trend,” and that they need to continue to stick to peace talks, based on China’s Xinhua.
The two leaders arranged to have close strategic communication and deepen cooperation in a variety of fields, KCNA said.
On Thursday, Xi praised Pyongyang’s efforts toward denuclearization and said the world hopes North Korea and the United States can talk to each other and for those talks to become successful.
Since a failed summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi previously this year, Pyongyang has performed some weapons tests and warned of “truly undesired consequences” if the United States is not more flexible.
At a dinner banquet on Thursday, Xi said China firmly supported Kim looking for a political solution to the Korean Peninsula issue and the establishment of a good environment for self-development via “a new strategic route,” according to KCNA .