China said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has pledged to denuclearize the Korean peninsula during a meeting with President Xi Jinping as the state also confirmed Kim's "unofficial" visit to Beijing from March 25-28, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Kim told Xi that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was starting to get better, as North Korea has taken the initiative to ease tensions with proposals for peace talks, Xinhua said March 28.
"It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il," he said.
"The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace," Kim said, according to Xinhua.
Kim said North Korea is committed to participate in a summit between the heads of the two Koreas. North Korea is also willing to have a dialogue with the U.S. and hold a summit of the two countries, Reuters reported.
North Korea's state-run radio station also confirmed Kim's visit to China, Yonhap News Agency reported. It was Kim's first known visit outside the country since taking power in 2011.
Kim's trip to China comes ahead of his planned summit with President Moon Jae-in late April and a proposed meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump by May. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also expressed willingness to meet the North Korean leader.
Relations between China and North Korea have been strained by the testing of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. China backed tougher UN sanctions against Pyongyang in 2017.