Kim Jong-un Visits China Again

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

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo speculated Xi wishes to consult with Kim before the North Korean dictator sits down for his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, much as the Chinese and North Korean leaders met before and after the first Trump-Kim meeting.

Kim left for China on a private train on Monday afternoon accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and senior North Korean officials, including Kim Yong Chol, a major negotiator, and Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said.

Lu said Kim's visit is a "coincidence" and nothing to do with the China-US trade talks.

Kim's visit also comes just over a week after the North Korean leader warned in a New Year's speech that Pyongyang may change its approach to the nuclear talks if Washington persists with sanctions.

At their summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, Xi and Trump agreed that the United States and China will hold off on imposing further tariffs on each other's imports and try to complete talks on technology and intellectual property rights issues within 90 days.

South Korea yesterday welcomed Mr Kim's trip to China with a statement from the Blue House, the presidential palace, saying it will be a "stepping stone towards a second North-US summit".

"Xi also gains from a summit with Kim - and the timing could not be any better", said Harry Kazianis, director of defence studies at the Center for the National Interest, a U.S. think tank. But Dr Shin also said that Mr Xi may not be as supportive this time around, given China's delicate position in the trade negotiations with the US.

Four of Kim's trips have been to China, signaling its importance to North Korea. Both visited China and South Korea six years after inheriting power, with the elder Kim creating what Sung-Yoon Lee, a Korea expert at The Fletcher School at Tufts University in the USA, characterized as " a dramatic mood swing in Northeast Asia" - a plan Kim Jong Un appears set on emulating.

Kim's trip comes as the US and North Korea look to settle the North's decades-long pursuit of a nuclear arsenal.

These include more Chinese purchases of United States goods and services to reduce a yawning trade gap, increased access to China's markets, stronger protection of intellectual property and a reduction in Beijing's subsidies.

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His visit to Beijing, which is stated to be closest ally of Pyongyang, comes at a time when China itself is locked in a trade war with the U.S. over Trump's demand to reduce the United States dollars 375 billion trade deficit with the US.

The North Korean leader will be in China until Thursday, making this his longest visit to date.

"Supreme interests of the state", he added, quoting Kim's speech, "means fulfilling the great national task", the state mission of the North: "Unify Korea under Kim and his ruling Workers' Party of Korea".

The most sensational was his June 2018 summit in Singapore with President Donald Trump.

Shi Yinhong, an global relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Kim's trip would have no direct influence on the progress of trade talks.

"China has always supported both sides to continue to hold talks and to reach a positive outcome", Lu said. -China trade talks in Beijing that seek to end the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies ahead of a March deadline.

In May 2018, Trump once made a decision to cancel his planned talks with Kim, saying he detected North Korea starting to take a tougher stance against the United States in the wake of the second summit between Beijing and Pyongyang earlier in the month.

The UN enforced multiple rounds of economic sanctions against Pyongyang previous year as punishment for its nuclear development.

"Their behaviour has demonstrated that as well and we appreciate that", Pompeo said. In a New Year's address last week, Kim himself declared that though he was committed to denuclearization, he would change course if USA sanctions continued. "China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea's nuclear capability".

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