May 15, 2018 13:05
China is willing to provide economic aid to North Korea in stages during the denuclearization process once Pyongyang reaches an agreement with the U.S., the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Monday.
It said Chinese President Xi Jinping made the offer to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un when they met in Dalian on May 7-8.
"Kim sounded Xi out about the possibility that North Korea could receive economic support from China during the denuclearization process," the Japanese daily wrote.
"Kim expressed concern, telling Xi that the United States has said it will provide economic assistance to North Korea after Pyongyang completes denuclearization, but that he cannot trust it will keep that promise," the daily added.
"Kim then asked Xi for China's economic assistance during the intermediate stages of denuclearization."
Xi advised Kim to "give top priority" to reaching "a comprehensive agreement on denuclearization" with the U.S., according to the daily. He "told Kim that if Pyongyang reaches an agreement with Washington and makes concrete progress on denuclearization, there would be good cause for China to support North Korea."
Kim is trying to find ways around Washington's principle of no economic aid until complete denuclearization and is seeking immediate rewards at each stage.
Xi's offer "may have led to Kim's judgement on denuclearization" when he met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang after his China trip, according to the Yomiuri.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com