Explain Kim Jong-un-Xi Jinping's secret meeting: Japan to China; 10 updates

Kim Jong Un at his luxury ski resort
After keeping it under wraps and the world guessing, China on Wednesday announced North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was indeed in Beijing, and met Chinese President Xi Jinping. An arrival of a special North Korean train and heightened security in Beijing had led the media to believe Kim was in town but neither Beijing nor Pyongyang let on until Wednesday morning when China's state-controlled Xinhua news agency flashed the news.

The news outlet described Kim's visit from Sunday to Wednesday as "unofficial" and said the North Korean leader and Xi discussed Korean Peninsula nuclear crisis.

Kim told Xi that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was improving, as Pyongyang has taken the initiative to ease tensions and decided to talk to Seoul and Washington. A reclusive Kim is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in next month and US President Donald Trump in May on North Korea's nuclear tests. China is North Korea's sole ally. Their friendship dates back to the Korean War when Beijing stood by Pyongyang.

However, North's testing of ballistic missiles by defying sanctions has frustrated China which is wary of a war in the neighbourhood.

"It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearisation on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il," Kim told Xi.

Kim said North Korea is determined to transform the inter-Korean ties into a relationship of reconciliation and cooperation and hold summit between the heads of the two sides.

Pypongyang is willing to have dialogue with the US and hold a summit of the two countries, he said.

"The issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the US respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace," said Kim.

Here are the highlights of Kim Jong-un's first visit to China

1) China informs US of Kim's visit

China told the US that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visited Beijing this week, the White House has said.

The communication on Monday between Beijing and Washington also included a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping for his US counterpart, Donald Trump, a statement said on Tuesday, Efe news reported.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the US has discussed Kim's visit with South Korea and Japan.

2) Kim visits Xi Jinping to congratulate him on re-election: Kim said a series of major and happy events had taken place consecutively in China recently and referred Xi's re-election for the second term. Kim said it was his obligation to come congratulate Xi in person, in line with the DPRK-China friendly tradition, the report said.

3) Explain Kim Jong-un's secret meeting, Tokyo tells Beijing

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday asked China for explanations on the visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"We want to receive a complete explanation from China," Abe said during a speech in the Japanese Parliament, Efe news reported.

The Prime Minister also said Japan is compiling and analysing information with great interest on this secret visit.

4) Xi Jinping speaks highly of Kim Jong-un's visit: Chinese President Xi Jinping has held talks with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Beijing during the trip, which reportedly took place from March 25 to 28.

The Chinese state media on Wednesday confirmed that Kim Jong Un made a surprise trip to Beijing.

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcoming banquet for Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju, reported China's state-run news agency Xinhua.

"We speak highly of this visit," Xi said.

5) Traditional China-DPRK friendship should be developed further: Xi underscored the China-DPRK friendship, saying, "This is a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-DPRK ties. This should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time." China is a traditional ally and major trading partner for North Korea: The China-North Korean relations went through some testing times since Kim took over as the supreme leader of the country as he pressed ahead with his nuclear programme disregarding caution from Beijing.

Relations between the two countries have been strained after Beijing beefed up UN sanctions by blocking essential supplies like oil and coal following pressure from Trump.

6) Kim Jong-un on denuclearization: China’s Foreign Ministry cited Kim in a lengthy statement as telling Xi that the situation on the Korean peninsula is starting to improve because North Korea has taken the initiative to ease tensions and put forward proposals for peace talks.

“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearisation on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” Kim Jong Un said, according to the statement. North Korea is willing to talk with the United States and hold a summit between the two countries, he said.

“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.

However, North Korea’s KCNA news agency made no mention of Kim’s pledge to denuclearise.

7) Xi Jinping made 4 proposals to Kim Jong-un for China-DPRK relations: i. Continuation of high-level exchange, including close communication between him and Kim
ii. Make full play of strategic communication
iii. Cement the popular will foundation for China-DPRK friendship enhancing people to people contacts
iv. Actively advance peaceful 

8) Preparations on for Trump-Kim summit, says White House: The United States continues to move forward on the proposed summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the White House has said. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday told reporters that preparations were on for the summit, which has been accepted by Trump at the request of Pyongyang. "We are continuing to move forward. The offer was extended and accepted, and were continuing to move forward in that process. We still don't have a set time or date on that front," Sanders said in response to a question.

9) China earlier kept mum on North Korea's Kim Jong-un visit to Beijing: "I am not aware of any information at present. If we have some information, we will release it in due course," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press conference.

Although Hua did not confirm if North Korean leader had made his first visit to China since assuming power six years ago, he did say the two countries were "traditional friends" and still had "normal exchanges" despite recent sanctions by Beijing on Pyongyang in line with several resolutions of the UN Security Council, reports Efe news agency.

10) Like father, like son: The presence of Kim Jong-un was along the lines of the trips to Beijing by his father, Kim Jong-il, who used to come in a special train, amid heavy security deployments at key points in the Chinese capital, and complete silence by the authorities of both countries until the North Korean leader had returned to his country.

The train journey: Japanese media reports said a special North Korean train arrived in Beijing under unusually heavy security, suggesting a senior delegation might have been aboard.

The reports sparked speculation that leader Kim Jong Un might have been aboard the train. Heavy security was reported at the Friendship Bridge before the train passed from North Korea to China, and there were reports of it passing through several stations on the way from North Korea to Beijing.

The NTV network said the green and yellow train appears very similar to the one that former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's late father, took to Beijing in 2011 and has 21 cars.

A video that aired on NTV also showed a motorcade of black limousines waiting at the train station and rows of Chinese soldiers marching on what appeared to be a train platform. The video did not show anyone getting off the train.

Kim Jong's visit to South Korea, US: Kim is expected to have a summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April and with US President Donald Trump by May. “If South Korea and the United States respond with good will to our efforts and create an atmosphere of peace and stability, and take phased, synchronized measures to achieve peace, the issue of the denuclearization of the peninsula can reach resolution,” Kim said.

VIDEO: Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un in Beijing. Kim paid an unofficial visit to China March 25-28. (Courtesy of CGTN) pic.twitter.com/jpsk87UWQD

— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) March 28, 2018


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