Kim Jong Un pays another visit to China

Marsha Scott
January 9, 2019

A "senior North Korean official" was travelling on the train, which passed through the city of Dandong on China's eastern border around 10.15pm local time, according to Yonhap News Agency.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived at Beijing train station Tuesday on a visit to China to meet President Xi Jinping, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.

The visit, during which he is being accompanied by several leading North Korean officials, is his fourth to China in less than a year.

In addition to discussing the second North Korea-US summit, Kim may seek to strengthen cooperation with China by discussing a broad range of other issues, including economic issues and inter-Korean relations, said Kim Dong-yup, a professor at Kyungnam University's Far East Institute.

A long motorcade thought to be carrying Kim, including motorcycle outriders reserved for state leaders, left a Beijing train station shortly after the arrival of an armoured train consisting of 20 to 25 cars - most of whose windows were blacked-out - along tracks lined by police and paramilitary troops.

Both Trump and Kim have alluded to a summit being in the works.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised China's support for resolving the North Korean crisis and said he did not think the U.S. trade dispute with Beijing would affect this.

The visit comes a week after Kim warned in a New Year's speech that Pyongyang may change its approach to nuclear talks if Washington persists with sanctions.

Kim's statement about how he might have to choose a "new way" to guarantee the North's sovereignty and secure a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula caught the eye of many foreign analysts.

North Korean government North Korean leader Kim Jong Un center waves as he was given a send-off at the Beijing station in Beijing. Four of his trips have been to China signaling its importance

Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il, who is said to have had a fear of flying, stuck to the rails for his own foreign travels, using high-security trains for his seven visits to China and three to Russian Federation over his 1994-2011 term.

Last month, North Korea said it would never "unilaterally" abandon its nuclear weapons unless the USA first withdrew military threats and "unjust sanctions" to avoid falling into a "defenseless state".

His latest visit may also provide Xi with an opportunity to accentuate his country's leverage over North Korea as China and the United States try to head off a trade war.

Diplomatic sources said the last Italy heard of him was when officials received a note a year ago from the North Korean government saying that Mr Jo was being replaced.

Kim has chosen to spend his birthday in China with the Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Since the Singapore summit, there is growing scepticism in the United States over Kim delivering on his promise to do away with the nuclear programme despite Washington's assurance over North Korea's security.

Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, told CNN that the timing of Kim's visit to China "could not be any better". Kim is also expected to meet Moon again soon, possibly in Seoul.

"Their behavior has demonstrated that as well and we appreciate that".

Trump while seeking Xi's support in forcing Kim to relent and give up the nuclear and missile programme also blamed the Chinese leader past year for tardy progress after his first summit with Kim at Singapore in June.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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