North Korea's Kim Jong-un Reportedly Leaves Beijing by Personal Train

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At the daily Foreign Ministry briefing Tuesday, spokesman Lu Kang gave no details about Kim's schedule or China's role as an intermediary between the US and North Korea.

At Tuesday's daily Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Lu Kang gave said details of Kim's visit would be released "in due course".

Trump and Kim reached an agreement to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", during their first meeting in June in Singapore. He also visited a pharmaceutical plant specialising in Chinese medicine. However, neither side has provided details of what he did since arriving aboard his personal armored train Tuesday morning.

He also credited President Xi Jinping with helping reduce regional tensions, saying "the Korean Peninsula situation has been easing since a year ago, and China's important role in this process is obvious to all".

Kim's visit to China, confirmed by North Korean and Chinese state media, comes amid plans for a second summit with US President Donald Trump aimed at denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

Each of the previous meetings between Kim and Xi have come shortly before or after summits the North Korean leader has held with either Trump or the South's President Moon Jae-in.

Referring to President Trump, Mr Jatras said earlier in the programme: "I think he's certainly hedging". In his speech, he warned that Pyongyang may change its approach to nuclear talks if Washington persists with sanctions.

Ties between China and North Korea, which had frayed as Pyongyang stepped up its missile and nuclear tests up to late 2017, warmed over the past year as Kim engaged with China, South Korea and the United States.

Despite starting his Presidency with explosive rhetoric against Kim, Trump has changed his tone considerably, and even went so far as to say "we fell in love" in September a year ago.

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"In order to resist the high pressure of the United States, he must communicate with Xi in advance to see what steps he can take to deal with Trump", Beijing-based independent political commentator Hua Po told AFP.

Mr Kim chose China for his maiden official trip overseas a year ago before holding meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Mr Trump.

Discussions between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal have stalled since Mr Kim and Mr Trump's high-profile summit in Singapore in June where they issued a vaguely worded declaration about denuclearisation.

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

Analysts here said the North Korean leader is seeking to strengthen its negotiating position by aligning the country and China ahead of his meeting with Trump.

While Kim was in China, Xi's government was in talks with a visiting US delegation over a trade war that has been extracting a financial cost on the world's two biggest economies.

The relationship between the North Korean dictator and the US President has been unprecedentedly friendly in recent months.

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

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