Kim Jong Un’s train left Beijing yesterday after the North Korean leader visited his key ally on a trip seen as a strategy session ahead of his expected summit with Donald Trump. Kim arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for his fourth visit to Pyongyang’s sole major diplomatic friend, reportedly visiting a factory and meeting President Xi Jinping.
The North Korean leader’s motorcade was spotted arriving at the Beijing central railway station early afternoon, and the train departed shortly after on a day-long ride back to the northeast border. The unannounced trip was largely shrouded in secrecy. Beyond confirming his presence in Beijing, no details have been provided by either North Korea or China on his schedule.
Kim met for one hour with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday -- believed to be the North Korean leader’s birthday -- and the two later dined with their wives at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. The meeting focused on Kim’s expected meeting with Trump, according to Yonhap.
Discussions between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal have stalled since Kim and Trump’s high-profile summit in Singapore in June where they issued a vaguely worded declaration about denuclearisation. The United States insists that United Nations sanctions must remain in place until North Korea gives up its weapons, while Pyongyang wants them immediately eased. China also wants the sanctions to be relaxed.