Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Kim Jong Un visits China to discuss next steps on nukes

Kim Jong Un visits China to discuss next steps on nukes

The North's leader, who is believed to have landed in the Chinese capital on Tuesday morning, was greeted with a military honour guard at the ornate Great Hall of the People, as the Cold War-era allies fix ties that worsened when Pyongyang tested nuclear weapons and Beijing backed United Nations sanctions.

His latest meeting with Xi will likely be framed as an opportunity for the North Korean leader to brief his Chinese counterpart on the results of the U.S.

China's foreign ministry refused to provide details on Kim's visit other than to say that Beijing hopes it will help deepen relations between the countries.

The P-914 IL76 cargo jet was previously used by the North Koreans in May, during a visit by Kim Jong Un to Dalian, China, and during last week's DPRK-U.S. summit in Singapore.

Xi Jinping (R), general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, holds talks with Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Beijing, capital of China, June 19, 2018. -South Korean exercises was made to support the diplomatic effort between the United States and North Korea but added it was "important to be wary of North Korea actions". On previous visits by North Korean leaders, including those of Kim's father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung, the news of the visits were not announced until after the they had left the country.

Kim is visiting China and there is a reason for this, he said.

After the summit, China suggested worldwide sanctions on Pyongyang could be lifted.

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And, just in time for Father's Day, news broke that a Honduran father took his own life after Trump's Justice Department ordered border agents to separate children from their parents if they're caught crossing the border illegally. "This shows that China is moving toward a healthier and more normal direction in relations with North Korea", Cheng said.

In the run-up to the Singapore summit, Kim visited China twice to meet with Xi. During his first six years as leader, Kim did not travel outside of North Korea. He became the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea since 1953 in April.

A trade war with the US could make it less attractive for China to use its influence over North Korea to help the USA achieve its objectives of denuclearization.

Amid fears the summit would weaken the worldwide coalition against the North's nuclear programme, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed after the meeting that sanctions would remain in place until North Korea's complete denuclearisation. Analysts said Beijing appeared to be trying to normalize such visits.

China may not have been at the table for the summit in Singapore but it retains strong influence behind the scenes, Wang said.

On Tuesday South Korea and the Pentagon announced they would halt the annual Freedom Guardian military drill scheduled for August. "It may be hard for Kim Jong Un to accept", Hua told AFP.

Beijing has repeatedly called for a "suspension for suspension" approach where the North would stop its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the USA and South Korea halting military exercises.

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