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Kim Jong Un's train departs Beijing

Kim Jong Un's train departs Beijing”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in Beijing for a surprise visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"Xi Jinping said that the legitimate issues raised by the DPRK are rightful demands and that he fully agrees that the DPRK's reasonable interests should be justly resolved", it said, using the official country name the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim's visit to China, confirmed by North Korean and Chinese state media, comes amid plans for a second summit with US President Donald Trump aimed at denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jong (red-dotted) wave aboard a train to Beijing on Monday. Trump is seeking a second summit with Kim to re-energize talks that have made little headway since their first meeting in June, saying Sunday a date would be announced "in the not-too-distant future".

Kim's visit to North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic ally follows reports of advanced negotiations for a second summit between Washington and Pyongyang aimed at resolving the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Kim reiterated a pledge from his New Year's speech that the North would try to make a second summit achieve a result that the global community would welcome, Xinhua said.

Kim's visit comes as a USA delegation opened a second day of talks with Chinese counterparts in Beijing aimed at ending the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Kim held three summits past year with Xi, his most important ally, before and after summits with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

"Because if there actually is a deal with North Korea then North Korea demilitarises and we remove the sanctions, and there' a peace agreement between the North and the South, why do we need 29,000 Americans in South Korea?" He also visited a pharmaceutical plant specialising in Chinese medicine. He left there around noon, Yonhap reported.

Kim's train departed from a train station in Beijing at around 2 p.m. after Kim and Xi had lunch together, according to Yonhap News Agency.

It said the Chinese leader had issued a ringing endorsement of the North's position.

Kim travelled to China - his most important security and trade partner - before meetings previous year with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

"U.S. forces in South Korea or strategic assets in places like Guam and Japan are not linked with North Korea alone, as they exist for the stability and peace of the entire Northeast Asia", Moon told reporters at the presidential Blue House. His visit was also seen as part of an effort to win Chinese support for a reduction of United Nations sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have severely impacted his country's already ailing economy.

The visit coincides with what South Korean officials say is Kim's 35th birthday on Tuesday.

Kim, for his part, welcomed China's readiness to "jointly study and steer" the situation to help ease tensions, as well as the positive role Beijing continues to play in the negotiations process, KCNA said.



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