Confirmed!! Kim Jong Un Is In China, Gets A Lavish Welcome In His First Foreign Trip Since Taking Over The Mantle
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un received a warm welcome in China by the President Xi Jinping after a lot of speculations regarding his secret trip to the country. In his first foreign trip since coming into power, he and his wife were met with honour guards and a banquet hosted by Xi.
The two men held talks at the stately Great Hall of the People during which they hailed their nations’ historic relations, with Kim pledging that he was ‘committed to denuclearisation’ on the Korean peninsula.
‘There is no question that my first foreign visit would be to the Chinese capital,’ Kim said, according to North Korea’s official KCNA news agency.
‘This is my solemn duty as someone who should value and continue the DPRK-PRC relations through generations.’
Meanwhile, it was also reported that Xi accepted an invitation to visit Pyongyang, which would mark his first visit to North Korea since he took power in 2012.
The two men had not met since Kim took over after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011, and relations have been strained as China has backed a raft of UN sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile tests.
However, Xi stressed on the need to develop ties, saying it was ‘a strategic choice and the only right choice’ and that he was willing to maintain frequent contact with Kim ‘under the new circumstances’, according to Xinhua.
According to analysts, Xi wanted to meet Kim to make sure he does not come to an agreement with the US President Donald Trump that hurts Chinese interests during a summit expected to be held in May.
Beijing had appeared sidelined by Pyongyang’s approaches to Seoul and Washington, but Kim’s visit puts China firmly back at the centre of the diplomatic game.
‘It shows that at this crucial juncture, Kim and Xi believed that it was time to seize the opportunity to consult,’ Bonnie Glaser, said a China expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
‘Both likely concluded that further deterioration in relations would be harmful.’
Deng Yuwen, an independent Chinese international relations scholar, said North Korea needed to turn to its old ally ahead of the US summit, as Kim will be sceptical that Trump will guarantee the security of his regime.
‘North Korea needs the big brother to protect it at a crucial moment,’ Deng said.
Xinhua said Kim expressed his willingness to hold summits with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
‘The issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace,’ Kim said, according to Xinhua.
South Korea said earlier that Kim would considering abandoning his nuclear weapons in exchange for US security guarantees, and flagged a halt to weapons tests while talks were under way.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump received a personal note from Xi about Kim’s visit on Tuesday.
‘We see this development as further evidence that our campaign of maximum pressure is creating the appropriate atmosphere for dialogue with North Korea,’ Sanders said.