Kim Jong Un Makes Fourth Trip to China, At Xi Jinping's Invitation

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

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un is in China for a fourth summit meeting with President Xi Jinping, North Korean and Chinese state media reported.

Earlier, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that a North Korean train "possibly carrying a senior official" had crossed the border into China, passing through the Chinese border city of Dandong.

Hanoi has told North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho during his official visit in late November that it wishes to host the summit.

Mr Kim's trip, announced earlier by both sides, comes after U.S. and North Korean officials are believed to have met in Vietnam to discuss the location of a second summit.

Kim, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-ju and senior officials including Kim Yong-chol - his right-hand man in diplomatic negotiations with the United States and South Korea, arrived in Beijing on his private train.

So it makes sense for Kim to try to persuade Xi to break with Trump's policy of maintaining "maximum pressure" on the North until it denuclearises.

He came again, this time on his 36th birthday, in an apparent effort to co-ordinate with his only major ally ahead of a possible second summit with Trump over denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Kim's remark suggests bringing Beijing into negotiations to establish a peace process on the Korean Peninsula, now revolving around the United States and the two Koreas.

Lu said China believes contact between the US and North Korea is important. But he warned that he may seek an alternative path to a summit with Trump if United States sanctions and pressure against the country continues.

Kim visited Beijing on his train from March 25 to 28 for his first summit with President Xi, an opportunity to thaw frozen North Korea-China ties.

"Forcing the USA out of Korea, and out of East Asia, is more important to Beijing than reigning in ... a self-confident or even provocative North Korea", he wrote.

"China has always supported North Korea and the U.S.to hold talks and to reach a positive outcome", Lu said.

Unlike that occasion, when the North's state media waited until his return to announce his journey, the official KCNA news agency said on Tuesday that he was traveling on board his "private train".

North Korea's state-run Central Television also confirmed the visit, reporting that Kim started the four-day visit Monday at Xi's invitation.

Kim would return to China twice: once before his summit meeting with U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Singapore in May and once after, in June.

Kim is expected to stay at the highly secure Diaoyutai State Guest House in the capital's west, with meetings held at the Great Hall of the People, the hulking seat of the legislature that sits next to Tiananmen Square.

"Kim will take advantage of the trade and other disputes between the USA and China, he is also going to take advantage of Trump's domestic troubles and squeeze compromise from Trump in the next meeting". But the current North Korean leader shows no sign of an aversion to taking to the air.

Washington is demanding Pyongyang give up its nuclear arsenal before any relief from economic sanctions is granted, while the North is insisting on immediate concessions from the US.

USA and Chinese officials are also holding trade talks in Beijing this week after agreeing on a temporary truce to their trade war last month.

Following his first visit, North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement noting that Kim had pledged to "steadily carry forward and develop the Sino-DPRK friendship which the leaders of elder generations personally provided and nurtured with sincerity in the course of contributing to the victorious advance of the socialist cause, out of common ideal, faith and deep revolutionary friendship". "But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC on Monday that China has so far kept the two issues separate".

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. "China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea's nuclear capability".

But relations went through a rough patch in recent years as China backed United Nations sanctions over the North's nuclear tests.

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