North Korean leader Kim visits China, meets President Xi

North Korean leader Kim visits China, meets President Xi

At a meeting in China on Tuesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the North Korean leader was upbeat about efforts to ease tensions in the region.

News of a second meeting between the two leaders so soon after the first one surprised analysts and said it could be a sign of real discussions about denuclearisation.

"President Trump and President Xi agreed on the importance of continued implementation of sanctions on North Korea until it permanently dismantles its nuclear and missile programs", the statement said.

Mr Kim is quoted as saying: "These are the positive outcomes of the historic meeting between me and Comrade General Secretary (Xi)".

Trump previously said a date and location for his summit with Kim have been selected, but he has not revealed those details. He meets at the White House on May 22 with Moon.

He said that what the world must remember is that there are as many as 30,000 Christian believers in concentration labor camps in North Korea, among many others, while another 70,000 Christians have to hide their faith and live in secrecy.

"As long as relevant parties abolish their hostile policies and remove security threats against the DPRK, there is no need for the DPRK to be a nuclear state and denuclearization can be realized", Xinhua quoted Kim as telling Xi.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his second visit to China in as many months, visiting the port city of Dalian for another meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time).

Trump, who announced that the plans for the upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had been finalized, said to "stay tuned" for any developments on the release of the United States citizens.

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For his part, Kim said both the DPRK-China friendship and the Korean Peninsula situation have undergone meaningful progress since March this year.

China and North Korea fought side by side in the Korean War (1950-53), and remain close, but relations have been strained since the start of Pyongyang's nuclear programme, which Beijing fears has raised tensions on its borders.

The North Korean official flew in a private plane and arrived at Dalian airport on Monday amid heavy security, Yonhap said.

The remarks were not seen in reports by North Korea's state media about the summit.

The U.S. government has demanded that North Korea immediately commit to denuclearisation.

Dalian was also the site of a 2010 meeting between Mr. Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, and Mr. Li, who is now China's premier.

Intense secrecy typically surrounds high-level North Korean visits to China, and this week's trip was no different.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper cited two unidentified sources as saying that Xi had flown to Dalian on the coast east of Beijing to meet with the official as well as to preside over the official launch of sea trials for China's first entirely self-built aircraft carrier.

Throughout the day on Tuesday there was speculation on Chinese websites that a North Korean leader was in China, though China's foreign ministry said earlier it had no information and Chinese state media did not carry any reports.

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