China calls on US, N. Korea to implement Singapore deal

China calls on US, N. Korea to implement Singapore deal
PHOTO: AFP

China's top legislator voiced hope that North Korea and the United States will implement their nuclear summit agreement as he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese state media said Monday.

Li Zhanshu, sent by President Xi Jinping to attend North Korea's 70th anniversary parade on Sunday, said China was committed to the goal of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, the Xinhua news agency said.

"We have high regards of the efforts the DPRK has made towards regional peace and stability," Li was quoted as saying, using the acronym for the North's official name.

Xinhua said Li also conveyed his hope that North Korea and the United States could implement the outcome of the June summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in Singapore and work to preserve peaceful talks.

When Trump met Kim: A Singapore story

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    Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un made history Tuesday, becoming the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet and shake hands, as they seek to end a tense decades-old nuclear stand-off.

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    It was a meeting many would have thought unimaginable just months ago.

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    The two men strode toward each other and shared the momentous handshake beneath the white-washed walls of an upscale hotel in neutral Singapore, before sitting down for a half-day of meetings with major ramifications for the world.

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    Prior to the meeting held at Capella Hotel in Singapore's resort island of Sentosa, Trump had said that he would know "within the first minute", whether any agreement would be possible.

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    The watching world is not sure if it's the start of a beautiful, budding "bromance", but here's a look at how the world's most talked-about first date unfolded.

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    Their handshake reportedly lasted for 12 long seconds (though still 7 seconds shorter than his memorable handshake with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe).

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    Trump also reached out to touch the North Korean leader on his right shoulder.

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    According to a body language expert Karen Leong, the first 60 seconds showed both leaders seeking to take charge in their encounter. US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un both sought to project a sense of command. "Their handshake seems to be between peers," she said.

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    "Trump seemed to be very aware of this, that he needed to up the stakes and be seen that he is the leader."

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    Trump did most of the talking, and Kim appeared to listen attentively, turning to him three times during their walk toward their meeting room.

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    Trump did most of the talking, and Kim appeared to listen attentively, turning to him three times during their walk toward their meeting room.

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    The US President, who is more than twice Kim's age, then appeared to lead the way to the library where they held a one-on-one meeting, placing his hand on the North Korean leader's counterpart's back.

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    Kim also patted the US president' arm, in an attempt to show control over the encounter, said Leong.

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    The leaders appeared to share a few light-hearted moments as they walked down a corridor to the hotel's library.

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    However, Leong said both found it difficult to conceal their nervousness once they were seated, with Trump displaying a slanted smile, and fidgeting with his hands and Kim leaning and staring at the ground.

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    As they sat down for their one-on-one meeting, the US leader predicted a "terrific relationship" with Kim.

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    Mr Kim then said through a translator: “The way to come to here was not easy.The old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward but we overcame all of them and we are here today.”

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    After their closed door one-on-one talks, the pair continued with explanded bilateral talks with their delegation. Trump was flanked by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton.

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    Sitting across the table from the US team were North Korean leader Kim, Kim Yong-chol, first vice department director of the ruling Workers’ Party’s central committee, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Ri Su-yong, Workers’ Party vice chairman on international affairs.

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    Thereafter, the two leaders attended a working lunch with their respective delegations at Capella Hotel.

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    On the lunch menu: Main courses include beef short rib confit, served with potato dauphinois and steamed broccoli; sweet and sour crispy pork and fried rice with an "XO" chilli sauce as well as a Korean dish called "daegu jorim", which is a soy braised cod fish with radish and Asian vegetables.

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    Post-lunch, Kim and Trump then went for a leisurely stroll around the hotel grounds.

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    He also said talks had gone "better than anybody could have expected", and indicated that they were heading for a "signing", but did not divulge any details of the agreement.

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    During their walk, Trump unexpectedly gave Kim a peek into his super limo, nicknamed "The Beast".

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    But they did not get to hop on to go for a joyride, as commentators had hoped.

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    The pair met to sign an agreement, details of which were not revealed during the signing. Trump said: "We're signing a very important document, pretty comprehensive document, and we've had a really great time together, a great relationship... More will be discussed at a press conference soon."

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    When asked what he learnt about Kim, Trump said that he is "a very talented man", and that "he loves his country very much".

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    Mr Trump also described Mr Kim as a "very worthy, very smart negotiator".

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    According to sources after the signing, the two leaders pledged to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, while Washington committed to provide security guarantees for its old enemy.

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    The signatures of US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. Trump said he expected the denuclearization process to start "very, very quickly".

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    Kim places a hand on Trump's back as they leave the room after the signing.

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    After the signing, the pair walked out for another round of photo-taking.

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    Reports say Mr Kim departed Singapore on a chartered Air China flight at 11.20pm and midnight on Tuesday, while Trump left on Air Force One earlier at 6.25pm.

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    At 4pm, Trump held a press conference on the summit outcome and details on the agreement signed.

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    "We signed a joint statement that is an unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of North Korea," he says.

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    The Capella Hotel on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa, provided the backdrop for the historic summit.

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    Trump's motorcade arriving at Sentosa on Tuesday (June 12) morning.

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    Setting the stage ready for the handshake that will be seen across the world.

Trump and Kim reached a vague agreement to work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but there has been little movement since and Trump has accused Beijing -- North Korea's sole major ally -- of complicating Washington's relationship with Pyongyang.

But North Korea refrained from displaying its intercontinental missiles during Sunday's parade, a conspicuous absence that Trump hailed as "a big and very positive statement".

For his part, Kim said North Korea adheres to the consensus reached at the summit and "has taken measures in this regard while the US side should take corresponding actions to jointly promote the political settlement of the Korean peninsula issue," according to Xinhua.

Li also handed a signed letter from Xi to Kim.

In the missive, according to Xinhua, Xi wrote that it "is an unswerving policy of the CPC (Communist Party of China) and the Chinese government to safeguard, consolidate and develop China-DPRK relations".

Relations between Pyongyang and Beijing have gone through a rough patch in recent years, with China backing United Nations sanctions to punish its Cold War-era ally for its nuclear activities.

But ties have recently improved as Kim met Xi in China three times this year.

Although the Chinese leader has yet to return the favour with his own visit to Pyongyang, he sent a major figure in Li to represent him. Li is a member of the Communist Party's seven-person Politburo Standing Committee, China's ruling council.

North Korea celebrates 70th anniversary by showing off achievements, but not missiles

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    North Korea began celebrating its 70th birthday Saturday with a showcase of its achievements -- without a missile in sight.

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    The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed on September 9, 1948, three years after Moscow and Washington divided the peninsula between them in the closing days of the Second World War.

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    The anniversary is a major occasion in the North, and is being marked with a series of events expected to include a military parade and the return of the 'Mass Games' -- unique acrobatic shows that are staged on a vast scale.

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    Featuring three of the state's top musical ensembles -- the State Merited Chorus army choir, the Samjiyon Orchestra and the Mansudae Art Troupe -- a red grand piano took centre stage.

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    Instead of missiles, the imagery at Saturday's concert highlighted North Korean landmarks, from its spiritual birthplace Mount Paektu to the Pyongyang skyline, and economic development, with shots of factories, steel plants, and abundant fields of wheat.

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    Every time Kim's grandfather, the North's founder Kim Il Sung, or his successors appeared on screen the audience broke into applause, with the loudest reserved for the current leader.

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    Songs included 'Socialism, I love you', and the first-ever public performance of a new ode to Kim Jong Un, "Be loved, our father".

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    "The Supreme Leader visits every family even at midnight and even at dawn," ran the lyrics.

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    "He hears everything the ordinary people say.... We are confident in his powerful leadership, taking us to the future, Oh, Comrade Kim Jong Un."

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