China’s Xi presses economic theme in Pyongyang speech

In this Thursday, June 20, 2019, photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wave from an open top limousine as they travel along a street in Pyongyang, North Korea. XINHUA VIA AP

BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping offered encouragement for North Korea’s new focus on economic development in a speech in Pyongyang, turning to a topic Beijing has long pressed with its communist neighbor, amid wider concerns over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

In an address at a banquet Thursday night, Xi noted that the nation under leader Kim Jong Un had “initiated a new strategic line of economic development and improving people’s livelihoods, raising socialist construction in the country to a new high tide,” according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

Xi’s speech also touched on the nuclear issue, saying all sides agreed to “stick to peace talks so as to make even greater contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the wider world,” Xinhua said. (AP)


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