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Monday 19 August 2019

Chinese president welcomes Kim Jong Un to Beijing

The North Korean leader is in China to discuss the next steps for his nuclear programme.

Kim Jong Un (KRT via AP Video)
Kim Jong Un (KRT via AP Video)

By Christopher Bodeen and Dake Kang

Chinese President Xi Jinping has welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on a visit to Beijing.

State broadcaster China Central Television showed Mr Kim in talks with Mr Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

In a two-day visit, Mr Kim is expected to discuss his next steps with Chinese leaders after last week’s nuclear summit with US President Donald Trump.

A motorcade believed to be carrying Kim Jong Un leaves Beijing Airport (Andy Wong/AP)

Security was tight at Pyongyang Airport and later at Beijing Airport, where paramilitary police prevented journalists from taking photos.

Roads near the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, where senior Chinese officials meet visiting leaders, were closed and the same motorcade was later seen heading into the compound.

A ring of police vehicles and black saloon cars surrounded the perimeter of the guesthouse, where Mr Kim stayed on his first visit earlier this year.

A similar convoy of vehicles was later seen leaving the state guesthouse in the direction of the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.

A stretch limousine arrives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing (Kyodo News/AP)

The visit, while expected, is one way for China to highlight its crucial role in US efforts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme.

The US has long looked to Beijing to use its influence with North Korea to bring it to negotiations, but the visit comes as ties between China and Washington are being tested by a major trade dispute.

Mr Kim was diplomatically isolated for years before making his first foreign trip as leader in March to meet Mr Xi in Beijing.

Kim Jong Un with Xi Jinping at an earlier meeting in Dalian, China (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP)

This is his third visit to China, North Korea’s main ally and key source of trade and economic assistance.

After his summit with the US president, he is meeting Chinese leaders to discuss progress in halting his country’s missile and nuclear weapons programmes in exchange for economic incentives.

PA Media

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