Kim Jong Un makes 4th visit to China in a year

Trump Says Washington Is Seeking Location for Another Summit With North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

Trump Says Washington Is Seeking Location for Another Summit With North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

Kim's fourth visit to China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping came with United States and Chinese senior trade officials holding a meeting in Beijing, where Washington may have put strong pressure on the Asian power to stem its alleged unfair business practices.

In an unusual move, North Korean state media announced Mr Kim's visit yesterday morning before he, his wife and other senior officials even arrived in Beijing.

The trip marks Kim's first overseas visit in 2019 after a year that saw him look to the outside world.

He also visited China three times, notably without a reciprocal visit from Mr Xi in a break with diplomatic convention.

Other officials named by the media were seasoned diplomat Ri Su-yong, a vice chairman of the Workers' Party's Central Committee and director of the party's International Affairs Department, and Pak Thae-song, a vice chairman for science and education of the Workers' Party.

Whether North Korea is ready to accept that outcome boils down to whether Kim is truly ready to do business with first China, then South Korea, and then the wider world.

According to the official North Korean account, Kim Jong Il was on a train for a "field guidance" visit in 2011 when he died of a heart attack.

The visit coincided with what South Korean officials say is Kim's 35th birthday on January 8.

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

"At different times, our interactions are different, but communication is maintained", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.

A separate geopolitical issue angered China on Monday when a US Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea a vast expanse claimed by Beijing.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed an expected U.S.

Kim wants to get out from under sanctions, and Xi holds the key.

In his annual New Year address last week, Kim Jong Un said that he was "ready to sit with the US president again at any time in the future and will make efforts by all means that will produce a result that will be welcomed by the worldwide community". Tuesday also marked Kim's 35th birthday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making a four-day trip to China, the North's state media reported Tuesday, in what's likely an effort by Kim to co-ordinate with his only major ally ahead of a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump that could happen early this year.

With its relations with Pyongyang remaining at an impasse, the United States has become anxious that China may seize the initiative on denuclearization negotiations with North Korea, pundits say.

A spokesperson for the South Korean government expressed optimism that the diplomatic discussions between the two Koreas, North Korea and China, and North Korea and the United States might build on each other. "China's ability to use [North Korea] as leverage has diminished considerably since Trump opened his own channel to Kim".

The visit also comes amid reports that negotiations are under way for a second summit between Kim and Trump.

Kim's latest visit coincided with the second day of the crucial trade talks between the United States and Chinese officials here. Trump has at times linked the U.S.

"With Chinese and U.S. officials meeting to discuss how to end the growing trade war between the two superpowers, it shows Beijing clearly has a North Korea card to play if it sees fit". However since Kim's outreach to Seoul and Washington, the North Korean leader has coordinated with China in the lead-up to and the aftermath of the inter-Korean Summit with Seoul and the Singapore summit with the U.S.

Kim's alternatives to US talks include building closer ties with China. That visit has yet to take place.

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