Kim Jong-un leaves China with ‘backing for second Trump summit’

Agency, 10 January : After his surprise visit to China, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un left with backing for a possible second summit with US President Donald Trump, state media said. Mr Trump and Mr Kim first met last June, but progress over denuclearisation has since stalled.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hoped the two leaders “meet each other halfway”, Xinhua news agency reported China is the North’s main ally and key trade partner.

Mr Xi said China supported North Korea and the US “holding summits and achieving results, and supports relevant parties resolving their respective legitimate concerns through dialogue”. He also said China would be ready to play a “positive and constructive role” towards maintaining peace and achieving denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, reported Xinhua.

Mr Kim made what is believed to be his first official trip outside North Korea to China last year, even before meeting South Korea’s President Moon and Mr Trump. The recent visit is Mr Kim’s fourth to China in less than a year.

During his three-day visit to China, Mr Kim and his wife Ri Sol-ju were welcomed by Mr Xi and his wife with a banquet and an art performance. He also visited a pharmaceutical plant specialising in Chinese medicine. The trip is believed to have taken place over Mr Kim’s 35th birthday.

Mr Xi accepted an offer to visit North Korea, state media said. It is still unclear when this would take place.

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7 days ago

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