05:29 GMT +321 July 2019
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    In this photo provided Wednesday, March 28, 2018, by China's Xinhua News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing, China.

    Kim Reportedly Asked Xi to Help Lifting Sanctions, Seeking China's Support

    © AP Photo / Ju Peng
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has appealed to Chinese President Xi Jinping to help get sanctions against Pyongyang removed during their June meeting in Beijing, the Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Sunday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

    "I finished the North Korea-US summit meeting successfully, so we’d like your country to make efforts to get the sanctions lifted as soon as possible," Kim allegedly said, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

    On June 19-20, Kim met with Xi in Beijing, which was his third visit to China over the last few months. The sides focused on the results of the June 12 summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

    READ MORE: South Korea, North Korea Resume Maritime Communication Hot Line

    According to the newspaper, Kim noted that the sanctions "have severely battered" his country.

    Xi, in turn, reportedly pledged to "make [his] utmost efforts" to push for lifting the sanctions.

    During the talks, Kim also sought Beijing’s support for the position that Washington should give Pyongyang concessions in a phased manner as the country was moving toward denuclearization, according to the sources.

    The North Korea leader reportedly asked Xi to provide security guarantees to the country and help it resolve economic challenges should Washington not deliver on its promises.

    At the historic meeting in Singapore, Trump and Kim reached an agreement that required Pyongyang to denuclearize in exchange for a freeze on the US-South Korean military drills and eventual sanctions relief.

    READ MORE: US Intelligence Believes DPRK Going to Conceal Part of Nuclear Arsenal — Reports

    On June 22, White House announced that Trump had decided to prolong anti-North Korea sanctions by one more year as part of his "maximum pressure" policy toward the country. The initial sanctions were introduced in the wake of Pyongyang's missile and nuclear tests following the punitive December 2017 UN Security Council Resolution restricting the country's fuel imports and other trade.

    READ MORE: CIA Claims North Korea Boosted Nuclear Production at Secret Sites — Reports

    Tags:
    sanctions, summit, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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