The visit falls on what is believed to be the North Korean leader’s 35th birthday. The four-day stay suggests that a second summit with the US president is in the making. According to observers, North Korea and China are seeking a common strategy.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived this morning in Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping amid speculations that his second summit with the US president, Donald Trump, might be held very soon.
A special train carrying Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, arrived in Beijing at around 10:55 am. The North Korean delegation is made up of party, government and military officials, including Kim Yong-chol, a key nuclear negotiator with the United States, and Ri Yong-ho and No Kwang-chol, the country's foreign and defence ministers respectively, Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
China's Xinhua News Agency also confirmed the visit at Xi's invitation and is set to run over four days.
According to South Korea’s Unification Ministry, Tuesday is Kim’s 35th birthday, although the date hasn’t been confirmed by North Korea.
Kim is widely expected to meet with Xi during his stay, though his detailed itinerary has not been made public. China is North Korea’s ally as well as its main trading partner and source of aid.
The trip — Kim’s fourth to China since March — suggests that a second summit between Kim and the US president Donald Trump is being worked out.
According to the US leader, talks are underway between Pyongyang and Washington to pick a place where the two leaders can meet.
Analysts see Kim's visit to China as an opportunity for North Korea to coordinate a strategy with its powerful ally.
According to observers, Kim could exploit his relationship with the Chinese president to push the United States to make greater concessions in nuclear talks.
In his New Year speech, the North Korean leader threatened to change course if the United States did not ease economic sanctions imposed on his country.