North Korean leader heads home after Beijing visit

Kim arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for his fourth visit to Pyongyang´s sole major diplomatic friend

If Xi Jinping has lit a fire under Kim's butt to bring him back to the table and start tearing down his warheads and missles, he may wind up doing us a far bigger favor than any new trade deal.

Trump said last week that he will be setting up a meeting with Kim "in the not-too-distant future" to restart talks about the North's nuclear programs after their summit in Singapore last summer.

The North's Korean Central News Agency stated Kim would be visiting China from Monday through Thursday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Chinese President Xi Jinping during Kim's recent visit to Beijing that he was committed to setting up a second summit with President Donald Trump to "achieve results" on the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula.

The comments, contained in Chinese state media reports Thursday, came a day after Kim left Beijing on his special armored train after a two-day visit to the Chinese capital.

Moon said resolving the issue of the North Korea sanctions hinges on how fast North Korea denuclearizes and whether it receives reciprocal measures from the United States.

China's official Xinhua news agency also said Pyongyang's "legitimate concerns" must be taken seriously in order to achieve a comprehensive resolution on the Korean peninsula.

President Xi said that he hoped that the two sides could meet "halfway", according to state media.

In the morning, Kim visited Tong Ren Tang, located in an economic-technological development zone in Beijing, which is the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine.

"But Kim has assured many foreign leaders, including myself, Trump, Xi Jinping and Putin, that his concept is no different in any way from what the worldwide community demands", Moon told reporters at the Blue House in Seoul.

Officially, at least, China says it considers the tariff battle and North Korea's weapons programs to be entirely separate.




Shi Yinhong, an global relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Kim's trip would have no direct influence on the progress of trade talks.

China, which wouldn't want to be left out in the cold in any settlement, has worked to improve relations with its neighbour, which deteriorated after Beijing backed United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

Xi greeted Kim at Beijing's ornate Great Hall of the People on Tuesday - believed to be the North Korean leader's birthday.

Kim's visit coincided with trade talks between Chinese and U.S. officials in Beijing.

Before Kim's first visit to China last March, the relationship between Kim and Xi was anything but warm - they kept each other at arm's length despite years of propaganda claiming the two countries were as close as "lips and teeth".

"China has always supported both sides to continue to hold talks and to reach a positive outcome", Lu said.

"The Sino-US trade negotiations are a matter between China and the US".

At a landmark summit in Singapore a year ago, Kim and Trump signed a vaguely-worded pledge on denuclearisation, but progress has since stalled with both sides arguing over their agreement's interpretation.

In the New Year speech, Kim focused on North Korea's moribund economy, saying that improving people's lives was his top priority and tackling energy shortages was an urgent task.

Following their historic meeting in Singapore last June, negotiations have somewhat stalled, as the White House demands that North Korea dismantle its nuclear program first, before the USA would lift any of its punitive measures on the country. This time, Kim was accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, who is in charge of nuclear talks with the United States. "I don't think it will be discussed in North-US nuclear talks".

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