North Korea's Kim Jong Un ends Beijing visit as Trump summit looms

North Korea's Kim Jong Un ends Beijing visit as Trump summit looms

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was given a lavish welcome in the Chinese capital on Tuesday, which was his birthday.

Kim's visit to China, confirmed by North Korean and Chinese state media, comes amid plans for a second summit with US President Donald Trump aimed at denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

The motorcade of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has headed out on the second full day of his visit to China.

The remark by Xi, during a meeting with Kim this week in Beijing, hinted at the depth of the differences that remain between Pyongyang and Washington after Trump and Kim pledged to work towards denuclearisation at their landmark summit in Singapore in June.

Kim arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for his fourth visit to Pyongyang's sole major diplomatic friend, reportedly visiting a factory and meeting President Xi Jinping. He said Beijing remains supportive of efforts to end tensions over US demands for a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Progress between Washington and Pyongyang has always been hobbled by wide differences on how denuclearisation should unfold, and under what conditions. His visit was also seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of United Nations sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.

China also wants the sanctions relaxed and Xi said it "hopes that the DPRK and the United States will meet each other halfway" according to China's state news agency Xinhua, using the initials of the North's official name.

Sentry Tournament of Champions, Round 3
World No. 8 Rory McIlroy (68), Bryson DeChambeau (68) and first-round leader Kevin Tway (71) are tied for second at nine under. But he found no consolation in losing to a guy who shot 62 in the tougher of the two wind directions on the west end of Maui.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang would not comment on the objective or timing of Kim's visit at a briefing Tuesday, saying only that the two countries were making "joint efforts to uphold peace and stability on the Korean peninsula".

While no details were released about an agenda in China, Kim has been seeking relief from sanctions, a peace declaration to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War and more investment.

He later attended a dinner with Xi and his wife at the Great Hall of the People. Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, the news agency said. "China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea's nuclear capability; I expect they will continue to do so".

"We always believe that, as key parties to the Korean Peninsula issue, it's important for the two sides to maintain contact and we always support their dialogue to achieve positive outcomes", Mr. Lu said.

Mr Moon, who has over the past year played mediator between North Korea and the U.S., said at a news conference on Thursday that Seoul would cooperate with the United States in resolving the issue of sanctions on North Korea.

Kim spoke with Xi for about an hour Tuesday night, discussing ways to strengthen their ties and lay out strategy for a potential summit between Kim and Trump on curbing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, Yonhap reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the talks.

"China will also introduce some successful experiences to Kim to help North Korea achieve economic transformation and realise the denuclearisation of the peninsula as soon as possible", Mr Lu told AFP.

Related Articles