UN Chief, Antonio Gutteres, speaks on Trump-Kim Singapore's meeting

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But ahead of the summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, traders in Dandong city are optimistic for a return to business as usual with North Korea, once described by Mao Zedong as being as close to China as "lips and teeth". -South Korean war games. "So that created a foundation for a special relationship", he says.

Peskov adds, however, that given how complicated the situation is around North Korea, the Kremlin isn't expecting a quick resolution.

Mr Trump said he had formed a "special bond" with Mr Kim, who said he and Mr Trump had "decided to leave the past behind".

Did you notice? Kim and Chinese leader Xi Jinping only met for the first time in recent months, but the two are now on such friendly terms that when Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday he alighted from a Boeing 747 with the Chinese national flag on it. His description of the drills as "provocative", gave the impression that he was distancing himself from the US and South Korea's stance that they are "defensive in nature".

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In the past, China has been accused of skirting sanctions to prop up the North Korean government - an accusation it vigorously denies.

The defense chief added that Japan would continue its own joint exercises with the USA and would stick to plans to boost its defense against the ballistic missile threat from the North.

"In coming weeks, China will need to find a way back into the center of the negotiations, or risk being left out of the Trump-Kim bromance".

Can the US, China and North and South Korea find peace on the peninsula? "Reputable shipping companies are not doing business with North Korea".

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China believes the best way forward is to help the North economically and is doing what it can without violating United Nations sanctions.

Mr Guterres said IAEA has a mandate "to apply safeguards on all nuclear material in peaceful use, including all material removed from military programmes". In fact, the Chinese foreign ministry hinted before Trump's press conference that it knew about the president's decision in advance.

Kim has made two visits to meet Xi since March, while a high-level delegation from his ruling Workers' Party toured China's industrial hubs in an 11-day visit in May that focused on China's high-tech urban transport and latest scientific breakthroughs.

The thicket of United States sanctions surrounding North Korea is the main deterrent for companies from doing business with North Korea.

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The seemingly off-the-cuff remarks, which were not written into the joint document signed by Kim and Trump at their summit, stunned South Korea and even came as a surprise to USA forces in Korea, which said that they had yet to receive updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises, including the joint drills scheduled for August.

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