China's big role in Trump and Kim summitTop News | 13 Mar 2018
South Korea's national security adviser has thanked President Xi Jinping for his "big role" in the diplomatic process that has set up a historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Just days after he stood outside the White House and announced the planned meet between the US president and the North Korean leader, Chung Eui Yong was in Beijing to brief Xi and China's top diplomats on the fast-moving efforts to address the nuclear standoff.
Trump and Kim have agreed to meet by the end of May, although they have yet to confirm a date or time.
"The situation on the Korean peninsula has undergone very positive changes. President Moon Jae In believes that [Beijing], especially the leadership ability of President Xi, has played a big role in this," Chung told Xi.
Chung said Xi's "unwavering" commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and a peaceful settlement played a "significant" part in the recent developments.
"We are very grateful to China for its consistent position," he said. "Once again, we expect that China will continue to play an active and leading role and the South Korean government will continue to coordinate closely with China."
Xi said Chung had achieved "positive results" in his visits to North Korea and the United States last week, which led to the diplomatic breakthrough.
Xi did not say more about the North Korean nuclear crisis, but he said China's relations with South Korea have "maintained a good momentum of improvement."
Earlier, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi told Chung that Beijing "will continue to realize the goal of denuclearization, uphold the peaceful unification of the peninsula, and solve problems through dialogue and consultation."
China, which has repeatedly pressed the United States and North Korea to hold talks, has urged Trump and Kim to hold their meeting as soon as possible.
Beijing has played a key role in implementing United Nations sanctions on the North.
Still, some are afraid that China, which hosted failed six-nation talks on the nuclear issue a decade ago, could be cut out of negotiations on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.