China warned not to return North Korea escapees who face ‘torture’

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

Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un have pledged to work toward "peace and stability" on the Korean peninsula during the Chinese President's historic visit to North Korea.

Other photographs showed Xi and Kim gazing at cheering children and sitting with their wives.

Thursday's performance - a special version called "Invincible Socialism" - took place with giant North Korean and Chinese flags hanging from the roof, and included scenes of the two countries' troops fighting together during the Korean War.

Video and photographs released by North Korean state media showed Kim and Xi greeting each other warmly when Xi arrived at Pyongyang airport.

Kim expressed deep gratitude to Xi, noting that the Chinese leader's close attention to the DPRK's socialist construction as well as its development in economy and livelihood has strengthened the confidence of the party and people of the DPRK in their cause, Song said.

Xi's two-day visit, which ended Friday, will also serve the Chinese leader in his complicated relationship with Trump, as they prepare to hold talks on their trade war at the G20 summit in Japan next week.

Quintana also raised concerns over massive North Korean prison camps, where experts say people accused of political crimes are detained and abused without due process, and the government's suppression of media freedoms and failure to secure the people's right to food.

They drove through the streets of the capital in an open-top limousine, and later attended a "Mass Games" propaganda show.

Chinese state media earlier reported that Kim told Xi he is waiting for a desired response from Washington and the USA should meet North Korea halfway to "explore resolution plans that accommodate each other's reasonable concerns".


Xi Jinping (2nd L), general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese president, and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st L) pose for photos with Kim Jong Un (2nd R), chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and his wife Ri Sol Ju ahead of talks between the two leaders in Pyongyang, DPRK on June 20, 2019.

The 2 leaders agreed to have close strategic communication and deepen cooperation in various fields, KCNA said.

An English version of a report published by the regime's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Xi and Kim exchanged views on peninsula affairs and vowed to develop bilateral relations "now that the serious and complicated changes are happening in worldwide and regional situations". He met with government officials and members of civil society and interviewed recent defectors from North Korea.

"And if Xi can persuade Kim to resume talks with the USA, he hopes that Trump will ease up pressure on trade", Glaser told AFP.

"This is the emperor's visit to its vassal state", wrote one person on the Weibo microblogging site.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea also urged China to not repatriate North Korean escapees, as they face severe punishment when they return home.

SEOUL-China should not repatriate the increasing number of North Korean escapees it has arrested in recent months, because severe punishment faces those sent home, a United Nations human rights investigator said on June 21.

At a time when "serious and complicated changes are happening in worldwide and regional situations", KCNA said, the two leaders agreed to "promote close strategic communication" and develop their "common interests".

Since a failed summit between Trump and Kim in Vietnam in February, North Korea has conducted some weapons tests and warned of "truly undesired consequences" if the United States is not more flexible.

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