North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met Chinese President Xi Jinping during an official trip to Beijing, North Korean and Chinese media revealed Wednesday.
According to Chinese media, Kim was invited to Beijing and met Xi during a trip lasting from Sunday to Wednesday.
North Korea had earlier revealed that Kim made the trip accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-ju.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 28. (Yonhap)
Kim was also accompanied by Choe Ryong-hae, vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party’s central committee, and Kim Yong-chol. Kim Yong-chol is a ranking party official who is thought to have been the mastermind of a number of attacks on South Korea.
Local and foreign media had speculated that Kim, or another top-level North Korean official, appeared to have visited China following a string of signs that a high-level North Korean official was in Beijing.
The reports fed speculations that Kim may be hoping to mend ties with Beijing, and capitalize on Beijing-Washington friction over trade issues.
The US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in an earlier press briefing that Washington had no information on the visit, and rejected speculation that Kim’s planned to leverage China-US trade discord.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org