Vietnam and Singapore are likely to be shortlisted to host a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the US President Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs Ministry officials said on condition of anonymity Thursday.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may finally hold much-delayed high-level talks with Kim Yong-chol, the vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, who has been leading denuclearization talks with the United States and accompanied Kim Jong-un on the Beijing trip.
South Korea's Yonhap, without identifying its sources, said the two leaders held talks for an hour in which they discussed the second US-North Korea summit and strengthening bilateral ties.
Xi Jinping said that "the legitimate issues raised by the DPRK are rightful demands and that he fully agrees that the DPRK's reasonable interests should be justly resolved".
Mr Trump and Mr Kim first met last June, but progress over denuclearisation has since stalled.
Trump said last week that he will be setting up a meeting with Kim "in the not-too-distant future" to restart talks about the North's nuclear programs after their summit in Singapore last summer.
Kim spent a little more than a day in the Chinese capital and was en route to Pyongyang by 2 p.m. Wednesday local time, Yonhap News Agency of South Korea reported, citing unidentified officials.
Trump, in turn, has sometimes blamed China for impeding denuclearization talks with North Korea. The visit wrapped up Kim's two-day stay in the city, after he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tuesday.
Kim's Beijing visit was seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of United Nations sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.More news: Editor's Corner-With Samsung deal, Apple is finally dropping video distribution hints
A lead limousine in the motorcade of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un leaves the gate of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Wednesday.
According to Mr. Moon, the mediator between North Korea and the US, Seoul will cooperate with the US in resolving the issue of sanctions on North Korea.
Pyongyang has a long history of playing major powers off against each other, with Kim's predecessor and grandfather Kim Il Sung adept at winning backing from the then Communist rivals Beijing and Moscow in turn.
"We always believe that, as key parties to the Korean Peninsula issue, it's important for the two sides to maintain contact and we always support their dialogue to achieve positive outcomes", Lu said.
The North Korean leader is keen to achieve sanctions relief, but he seems to know Xi may be better able to grant that wish than Trump.
North Korean state media reported Thursday that Xi accepted Kim's invite to visit, but this was conspicuously absent from Chinese media reports. Experts agree that while neither the United States nor China is "winning" in the trade war, China may be at a disadvantage.
While Trump says he considers Xi key to enticing Kim into taking concrete steps toward denuclearization, the president's own relationship with his Chinese counterpart has frayed over the U.S.
"If Washington will not give him (Kim) economic concessions, China in a subtle way nearly certainly will. albeit with the expectation he does make progress and does not return to belligerence".
Mr Moon, who has over the past year played mediator between North Korea and the USA, said at a news conference on Thursday that Seoul would cooperate with the U.S. in resolving the issue of sanctions on North Korea.