Chinese president Xi Jinping meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Lucy Bush
May 9, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their second summit in about 40 days, with Kim voicing his commitment to denuclearization, state media said Tuesday, ahead of an anticipated summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post cited two unofficial sources to say that Jinping went to Dalian to meet the guest official and preside over the launch of sea trials for China's inaugural aircraft carrier, built entirely indigenously.

Xi hosted a banquet and told Kim of his support for North Korea's strategic shift towards economic development, Xinhua added.

State media in North Korea said Mr Kim flew to Dalian on a special aircraft and was accompanied by his influential sister Kim Yo-jong, as well as Ri Su-yong, vice party chairman on worldwide affairs.

Since then, Kim made a highly-publicised visit to South Korea and held a summit meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in.

Shortly after Xinhua's announcement, Trump tweeted that he would be talking to his "friend" Xi in the next hour.

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Speculation about Kim's visit to China started when security in Dalian, located close to the China-North Korea border, was increased and Kim's private jet was spotted at the airport of Dalian.

The North Korean government is infamous for its long history of cruel leaders with fragile egos.

Pompeo told reporters aboard his plane that his first visit was to test the seriousness of North Korea's pledges to South Korea on easing tensions.

Xi, meanwhile, said that "The teams of both sides can maintain communication and strive to find a solution to the problems that exist, so as to achieve mutually beneficial and win-win results", according to a report in Chinese state media. He also talked with Kim about the future of a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

But Mr. Moon, who as South Korea's leader has pushed for engagement with Pyongyang, urged Japan to consider normalizing ties with North Korea.

Trump has said he will soon announce the location and date for the summit.

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In the past, North Korean leaders have been reluctant to travel by air on global journeys, especially Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, who famously went everywhere in his personal armored train.

China is likely trying to insert its interests into ongoing inter-Korean talks and shape Kim's message to President Donald Trump when the two meet.

China's Global Times also came up with a piece on Monday, May 7, explaining why China plays an indispensable role for peace in the Korean Peninsula.

Dalian was also the site of a 2010 meeting between Mr. Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, and Mr. Li, who is now China's premier.

Chinese internet users posting on social media described heavy security in the city and extensive flight delays on Monday. His trip comes just days after North Korea expressed displeasure with Washington for comments suggesting that United States pressure had pushed Kim to the negotiating table.

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