North Korea's Kim Jong-un in China for two-day visit
20 June, 2018, 00:48 | Author: Jason Torres
Chinese state media say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will make a two-day state visit starting on Tuesday.
The visit comes almost a week after Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump held a summit in Singapore, the first of its kind between a North Korean leader and an American president.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has touched down in Beijing, marking his third visit to China in as many months.
In addition to speculating that Chinese and Russian support for existing US -led sanctions against Pyongyang is likely to falter since Mr. Trump tweeted a day after meeting Mr. Kim that "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", critics have seized on a lack of specifics in the joint statement.
A stretch limousine, with a golden emblem similar to one North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has used previously, arrives with motorcycle escorts as a guard of honor salutes at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, Tuesday.
North Korea and China are historic allies.
In addition to discussing last week's Singapore summit, Kim is expected to ask China for help in easing economic sanctions in return for his pledge to denuclearize, according to Wang Dong, an global relations expert at Peking University.
The White House has called for the North to take swift and clear disarmament measures before receiving any rewards, though Trump acknowledged at the summit that the meeting was "the beginning of an arduous process".
While Beijing and Moscow have supported United Nations restrictions, they bristle at Washington imposing unilateral sanctions to put pressure on North Korea.
Kim praised China's "important role in protecting the Korean Peninsula's peace and stability", state-run CCTV said.
The visit shows that China is "key" to the talks, Wang said.
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While announcing the halt of South Korean and U.S. military exercises, Trump has been maintaining that the sanctions will remain.
"I think that North Korea can be another card Beijing can play to win leverage in negotiations with Washington", Yang Moo-jin, professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told AFP.
"[Xi] has really closed up that border", the President said, in comments in which he thanked the Chinese President for his role in bringing Kim to the negotiating table.
While Washington has said repeatedly it wants Pyongyang to commit to the comprehensive, verified and irreversible disarmament of the peninsula, the joint declaration signed at the Trump-Kim summit did not include any timelines or specific targets.
Critics also oppose the president's decision to end major joint military exercises without getting any major concession in return from North Korea.
The president has suggested strongly that the meeting with Kim ensured that North Korea was no longer a threat.
Citing diplomatic sources, Japanese news agency Kyodo said a "high-ranking North Korean official, possibly Kim" was due to visit Beijing by air.
Trump in the past has said Kim has changed his mind after his talks with Xi.
Kim told Xi he hoped to work with China and other parties to push the peace process, Chinese state television said.
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