Kim Jong Un secretly met with China's Xi Jinping in Beijing, an historic first visit by North Korea's leader.
“If South Korea and the United States respond with good will to our efforts and create an atmosphere of peace and stability, and take phased, synchronized measures to achieve peace, the issue of the denuclearization of the peninsula can reach resolution,” Kim Jong Un said, according to Xinhua’s summary of his meeting with Mr. Xi.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, with President Xi Jinping of China in Beijing. Credit Ju Peng/Xinhua
From the New York Times:
The visit amounted to Mr. Kim’s international debut: It was the 34-year-old leader’s first trip outside North Korea since he took power in 2011, and his first meeting with another head of state. The surprise discussions added another layer of complexity to the rush of global diplomacy around North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Mr. Kim’s trip unfolded in extraordinary secrecy and security; it was confirmed only after he left Beijing on the same armored train that stirred speculation when it arrived mysteriously in the Chinese capital on Monday. (Both Mr. Kim’s father and grandfather, the North’s former leaders, used similar trains for foreign trips.)
Mr. Kim made the trip to China at the invitation of Mr. Xi, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central Television reported soon after the announcement in China. Mr. Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol-ju, as well as by his senior advisers, it said.
Mr. Kim told the Chinese leader that he was open to dialogue with the United States, including a potential summit meeting with President Trump, and was committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, according to an account published by China’s news agency Xinhua.
President Xi Jinping of China, fourth from left, and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Credit Yao Dawei/Xinhua
Mr. Kim traveled to and from Beijing in a green armored train much like the one that his father, Kim Jong-il, used when he ruled the North.
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