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Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday “reached a consensus on important issues” and agreed to develop bilateral relations regardless of changes that may occur in the international situation, North Korean state-run media reported on Saturday.
In the first detailed reporting on the second day of this week’s fifth Kim-Xi summit, party daily the Rodong Sinmun and the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported the two leaders had “sat together without reserve, in a cordial atmosphere like family members.”
First Ladies Peng Liyuan and Ri Sol Ju were also present at a banquet at a “specially-arranged luncheon site at the rosarium of the Kumsusan State Guest House,” state media continued.
The two leaders agreed that their five summits since March 2018 had seen them develop “profound communications as well as beneficial talks” and meant that they “have a deep understanding of each other, reached a consensus on important issues, and deepened the comradely trust and special relations of friendship.”
Kim and Xi, notably, “expressed their will to glorify the friendly relations between the two parties and the two countries in the future, no matter how the international situation changes,” the Rodong and KCNA said in Korean-language reports.
The luncheon, the report continued, “proceed in a harmonious atmosphere overflowing with feelings of friendship from the beginning to end.”
Before the lunch, the Chinese and North Korean leaders and their wives “deepened their friendship in an amicable atmosphere while walking along together in the garden… after exchanging warm greetings.”
During the walk, Kim and Xi shared views on “issues of major and external policies of their countries and had a profound conversation exchanging constructive views on domestic and international issues of mutual concern.”
Echoing the outcome of their first summit, the two leaders “continued discussions about a series of plans to strengthen collaboration” and discussed ways to “positively promote the situation on the Korean peninsula.”
The Rodong, the chief organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), on Saturday dedicated two pages to the luncheon and walk, as part of an eight-page special edition in which five pages focused on the summit between Kim and Xi.
The second day of their summit also saw Xi and Peng visit the Sino-DPRK Friendship Tower and lay a floral basket paying tribute to members of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army who died in the Korean War.
“Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping, together with the participants, paid silent tribute to the memory of the martyrs of the Chinese People’s Volunteers who fought at a sacred war, sacrificing their youth and life with North Korean people, to defeat the imperialist armed aggression,” reports said.
First vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission (SAC) Choe Ryong Hae and SAC vice-chairman Pak Pong Ju were present at that event, along with other senior North Korean officials of the Party, government and armed forces organs.
A photo released by KCNA and the Rodong showed first vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD) at the WPK Central Committee Kim Yo Jong and Ri Su Yong, who serves as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), also in attendance at the event.
A Chinese entourage, including Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng, and Song Tao, accompanied President Xi.
“Friendship will be handed down through generations with longing for the martyrs. Xi Jinping June 21, 2019,” Xi wrote in the visitor’s book.
Xi and Peng then bid farewell to Kim and Ri at a farewell ceremony at Pyongyang International Airport, with North Korean state media deploying bombastic rhetoric to describe the send-off.
“Pyongyang residents enthusiastically sent off the intimate friends of brotherly neighboring countries who adorned the flower garden of the DPRK-China friendship with deep historical roots more beautifully and made a precious memory in the history of the development of relations,” state media said.
“The [North] Korean people’s will to further solidify the friendship and unity between the two countries, which are sublimated by the special friendships of the top leaders, vigorously surged on every street.”
North Korean officials including Choe Ryong Hae, Pak Pong Ju, Ri Man Gon, Ri Su Yong, Choe Hwi, Kim Yong Chol, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Nung O and Kim Yo Jong, as well as Ji Jae Ryong, Kim Su Gil, Ri Yong Gil, and No Kwang Chol were present at the farewell ceremony.
Premier of the Cabinet Kim Jae Ryong, who participated in the summit on Thursday, was not mentioned in Saturday’s state media coverage.
Both sides had “powerfully demonstrated the firm determination of the DPRK and Chinese leaders firmly hold hands and move forward the path of struggle to independence and justice” through Xi’s visit to Pyongyang, it said.
The coverage marks the end of what was the fifth summit between the two leaders and their second this year.
President Xi is set to fly to Osaka, Japan next week, where he is expected to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in a summit on the sidelines of the G20.
Trump is then set to travel to South Korea, where he will hold a summit with President Moon Jae-in.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: KCNA