MOSCOW, January 8. /TASS/. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in China on an invitation from Chinese President Xi Jingping, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday citing a spokesperson for the International Department of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing.

The visit, the fourth since last spring, will take place until January 10, the agency said.

Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of Workers’ Party of Korea, reported that Kim is accompanied by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and a senior party official charged with negotiations with the United States, Kim Yong Chol.

South Korea hailed the visit, expressing hope that it would have a positive effect on denuclearization and peace process on the Korean Peninsula, the country’s Yonhap news agency reported.

“The government expects that high-level exchanges between the North and China, including a meeting between Chairman Kim Jong-un and President Xi Jinping, will be able to contribute to the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula,” a foreign ministry official told the agency, adding it’s the government’s formal response.

The diplomat added that his country would continue its efforts to foster the denuclearization process and will assist diplomatic activities involving Seoul and Pyongyang, with the participation of other regional powers.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that the leaders of China and North Korea were expected to meet in person during the visit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Lu Kang said on January 3 that the top-level Chinese-North Korean meeting in 2019 may have a positive effect on peace and stability worldwide, and China expects it to be a success.

A historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, 2018, yielded a joint document where North Korea undertook a commitment to work towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the United States. Besides, the US president vowed to stop holding joint military drills with South Korea near the North Korean border.

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