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Kim Jong Un's trip to China confirmed

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first trip abroad since taking power, and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese media confirmed on Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited China from March 25 to 28 — Kim's first trip abroad since taking power.

Speculation has buzzed about the diplomatic mission over media the past few days, after Kim's train was believed to be spotted on the move, while Chinese officials closed off roads to a guesthouse used to host North Korean leaders in the past.

During the visit, Kim met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Talks between the two Communist leaders were referred to as "unofficial," but come amid speculation of a possible trade war between the U.S. and China. Nuclear saber-rattling between the U.S. and North Korea have also fueled tensions.

Relations between America and North Korea have long been shaky — Kim and President Donald Trump have traded barbs ever since Trump took office. But according to Chinese state media, Kim is willing to make concessions on his country's nuclear program.

He's quoted as saying, "The issue of denuclearization 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 realization of peace."

Kim also spoke of his commitment to a continued friendship with China.

"In this spring full of happiness and hopes," he said, "I believe my first meeting with General Secretary Xi Jinping will yield abundant fruits of DPRK-China friendship, and facilitate peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."

Xi, in turn, expressed Beijing's openness to fostering his country's relationship with North Korea, hoping to "promote long-term healthy and stable development of China-DPRK relations, benefit the two countries and two peoples, and make new contributions to regional peace, stability and development."

President Trump announced recently that he will also sit down with Kim for talks sometime this spring. He would be the first American president to meet with a North Korean leader.

A discussion between Trump and Kim is being encouraged by Xi. Trump tweeted a few weeks ago that "Chinese President XI JINPING and I spoke at length about the meeting with KIM JONG UN of North Korea. President Xi told me he appreciates that the U.S. is working to solve the problem diplomatically rather than going with the ominous alternative. China continues to be helpful!"

 

 

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