Kim Jong Un meets President Xi Jinping in China

Hannah Rogers
May 9, 2018

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.

Kim held his first summit with Xi in March in Beijing, marking the first meeting since Kim took power in late 2011. That strongly suggests an urgent situation has arisen, and the two leaders needed to discuss it ahead of Kim's meeting with Trump.

China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, met with Kim in Pyongyang last week, the first trip there by a Chinese foreign minister since 2007.

"I hope to build mutual trust with the US through dialogue", Kim was quoted as saying.

At a crucial time when the regional situation is developing rapidly, Kim said he came to China again to meet with General Secretary and inform him of the situation, hoping to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation with China, deepen DPRK-China friendship, and promote regional peace and stability. In addition, 65 percent of South Koreans trust Kim Jong-un on his pledge to denuclearize, and Moon Jae-in's approval ratings have shot up to 86 percent.

He said that what the world must remember is that there are as many as 30,000 Christian believers in concentration labor camps in North Korea, among many others, while another 70,000 Christians have to hide their faith and live in secrecy.

The North Korean leader's greatest test may still be to come, however, when he sits down for face-to-face talks with Trump that are expected to take place by late May or early June.

China's state news agency Xinhua said Mr Xi met Mr Kim in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian on Monday and Tuesday, the second time in 40 days the two communist leaders have met.

"If Japan-North Korea relations are normalized, that would greatly contribute to peace and security in Northeast Asia beyond the Korean Peninsula", he said in written answers to questions submitted by the newspaper.

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The South Korean government is exploring ways to increase economic cooperation with North Korea without breaching global sanctions or earning the ire of Trump.

The discussions likely centered around the diplomatic push to keep North Korea free of nuclear weapons.

The Chinese foreign ministry would not confirm or deny that a North Korean official had visited the country.

Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, feared flying, fuelling speculation that the younger Kim may not be willing to travel far to meet Trump.

Internet users in China said security was beefed up in Dalian and flight delays happened.

Intense secrecy typically surrounds high-level North Korean visits to China, and this week's trip was no different.

After news of the meeting between the two leaders was released, Trump announced that he would be speaking to "my friend" Xi on Tuesday.

It is not clear when the meeting was planned or put together or why Dalian was chosen. "This meeting is one that carries the will of President Trump and State Affairs Commission Chairman Kim Jong Un", she said, using Kim's formal title.

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