Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping hold surprise second summit

Larry Hoffman
May 9, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have met in China for unannounced talks ahead of an expected summit involving Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Top-level officials from both North Korea and China attended the summit, including Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong and Wang Huning, a member of China's powerful seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, according to Chinese state media.

China is North Korea's only major ally but trade has plummeted in recent months because Beijing is enforcing United Nations economic sanctions, following ballistics missile tests in North Korea.

But that was also the case when Kim left North Korea for Beijing in an armored train to make his first foreign visit since taking power in 2011.

The visit, part of a flurry of diplomatic engagement that has dramatically eased tension on the Korean peninsula, follows Kim's recent historic summit with South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, and precedes a planned meet with US President Donald Trump.

After was declared a visit of Kim to China, trump wrote on Twitter that after a telephone conversation with his "good friend" sea Tuesday - relationships and trust are built.

The North Korean official flew in a private plane and arrived at Dalian airport on Monday amid heavy security, Yonhap said. Reports from the Chinese-North Korean border suggest that Chinese authorities have already lost much of their enthusiasm for enforcing existing sanctions.

CCTV showed Xi wearing a western business suit and Kim in his standard high-collared Mao suit.

North Korea and Dalian do not have direct scheduled flights, it was reported by AP.

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China has been eager to assert its importance in the process of lowering tensions on the Korean Peninsula. "And with the help of China, South Korea and Japan, a future of great prosperity and security can be achieved for everyone", Trump added. It said the U.S. was inconsistent in its approach two cases of nuclear proliferation in the world - one in Iran and other in North Korea and China feels its role could play big if the US's unpredictability fails to serve the real cause.

Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea over the Easter weekend, becoming the first US official known to have met Kim, to lay the groundwork for the planned summit.

Trump announced the planned telephone call in a post on Twitter, just days after a US delegation returned from discussions in Beijing last week with no agreement on a long list of USA demands, and ahead of more negotiations next week.

In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the two leaders had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-North Korea relations and major issues of common concern, it said.

The second summit between Kim and Xi in the northern Chinese city of Dalian on Monday and Tuesday appeared to highlight efforts by the allies to restore ties that have been chilled by the North's nuclear and missile development.

USA officials say Pompeo will also press North Korea for the release of three detained American citizens, whose imminent release Trump has been hinting at.

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