Washington, Mar 28 (PTI) US President Donald Trump said today that there is a “good chance” that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will give up nuclear weapons, but cautioned that maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained on Pyongyang.

His comments came as Kim completed a secretive and unprecedented visit to Beijing during which he met Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday and said that he is committed to denuclearisation.

The White House said China briefed the administration on Kim’s unannounced visit to Beijing, and stressed that the US policy of maximum pressure on North Korea is working.

Xi reached out to Trump, after his meeting with Kim, with a personal message, the White House said.

“For years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula was not even a small possibility. Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong-un will do what is right for his people and for humanity. Look forward to our meeting!” Trump tweeted.

Tensions temporarily abated in the Korean Peninsula recently over the North Korea’s nuclear programme following which Trump accepted an invitation from Kim to have a summit meeting between the two.

The invitation was communicated to him through the South Koreans, who held a meeting with the North Korean leaders early this month. The date of the meeting has not been announced yet.

In his tweet, Trump said he has received a message from Xi.

“Received message last night from XI JINPING of China that his meeting with KIM JONG UN went very well and that KIM looks forward to his meeting with me. In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!” Trump said in another tweet.

Last night, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the US remains in close contact with its allies South Korea and Japan.

“We see this development as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea,” Sanders in a statement after China confirmed of Kim’s visit to Beijing.

In February, Trump imposed the “heaviest-ever” sanctions on North Korea’s shipping companies in a bid to prevent the reclusive nation from acquiring nuclear weapons and developing intercontinental ballistic missiles.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.